Part 1 - July/August
These are notes from apples acquired early in the season, July/August, so mostly from windfall apples that weren't quite ready yet, apart from the George Cave apples.
George Cave: Bright red skin.
Lady Henniker: Very waxy skin.
Duchess of Oldenburg: Slightly tart.
Pronounced ridges. Waxy skin. Soft, dense flesh. Slightly juicy. Slightly sour, but I think it's supposed to be a cooker. Emneth is in Cambridgeshire.
Part 2 - October
Bright red and yellow skin, red stripes on yellow background. Skin is quite waxy. Flesh is cream to white with yellow-green veins. Flesh is soft, very juicy, tastes a bit bitter, overall taste is just like apple juice. Perhaps these were riper than ones we've tasted in previous years, I seem to remember them being rather more tart. Skin is thin, a bit chewy. Bought at a farmer's market. These are early apples and so don't keep for very long.
Yellow to pinkish-beige colour under the brown russetting. Yellow flesh. Quite sweet.
Crisp, crunchy, dense flesh, not very juicy. Some herbal notes - maybe like fennel - in the rough skin.
Skin is yellow-green with a flush of orange under the russetting. Rough skin, due to the russetting. Creamy to yellow flesh. Very sweet. Soft, moderately dense flesh, moderately juicy. Mellow apple juice flavour. Very nice. Really like this one. I am beginning to really appreciate russet apples.
The second one we tasted had some spicy, herbal notes.
Skin is green with pale red flush and red stripes under the russetting. Not quite ripe yet, probably better later in the season. Skin is rougher than Herefordshire Russet, lots of russetting, flesh is white to creamy, and more juicy. A bit sharp, probably because it's not ready yet, but also sweet. When we tasted some properly ripe ones last year, they had a lovely balance of flavours.
Yellow skin. Skin is a bit rough and chewy. The apples we got this year are very small. Yellow flesh, crisp, coarse textured, quite juicy, mellow flavour with a hint of pineapple.
Part 3 - November
Small apples with bright red skin. Thin skin. White flesh with red veins. The first one we tasted had a rather dry mealy texture. May be past its best. Tastes like it might have a nice balance of flavours though, a little bit sweet, a little bit acid.
Waxy skin. Hard, dense flesh. Moderately juicy. A little bit tart. I think these are supposed to be dual purpose dessert/cookers.
Very pronounced pear shape. Hard, moderately juicy flesh, slightly sweet, nice flavour.
Our previous tastings led to quite different conclusions. The year before last we tasted them for the first time, perhaps they were past their best, we didn't think much of the flavour, so we thought maybe it was the distinctive shape that made them interesting.
But then the ones we tasted last year, we thought, that's quite a nice apple.