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Cider Apples!

At Hocking Hills Orchard, here at the Four Seasons Cabins, we grow many different varieties of Apples, Pears, Grapes and other fruit.

Cider quality and flavor depends on the type of apple used. Cider is traditionally made with a blend of sharp, bittersharp, bittersweet and sweet apples. The principle characteristics of cider apples which contribute to this classification are the content of phenolic compounds (tannins) and the acidity. "Vintage" as a description of the cider means the variety will make a well balanced cider on its own.

When the Long Ashton Research Station was founded to work on cider in 1903, its first director was Professor BTP Barker. To try and impose some order on the then-prevailing chaos of nomenclature, he rapidly established a simple analytical classification of cider apples as follows:

Barker's Classification of Cider Apples (LARS 1903)

Classification Acid (%) Tannin (%)
Sharp >0.45 <0.2
Bittersharp >0.45 >0.2
Bittersweet < 0.45 >0.2
Sweet <0.45 <0.2

Apple varieties

  • Amere de Berthecourt

  • (France) Smooth skin, shiny yellow with red. Flesh fine, sugary, slightly bitter perfumed. Must is rich in sugar and tannin. Juice deep amber color.
  • Ashton Bitter

  • (1947 UK) Dabinett x Stoke Red cross. Medium bittersweet.
  • Bedan

  • (Calvados, France) Bittersweet.
  • Binet Rouge

  • (Maine-et-Loire, France) Sweet.
  • Binet Violet

  • (Seine Inferieure, France) Small to medium size fruit. Skin is brick red over green. Ripens in October.
  • Bramtot

  • (France) Small to medium apple with green skin and dull orange blush, partially russeted. Flavor subacid very stringent, ripens early October. Produces cider with extra high sugar content.
  • Breakwell's Seedling

  • (late 1800's Monmouth, Wales UK) Fruit is small to medium in size, yellow skin with red blush. A medium bittersweet variety producing a thin, light, cider.
  • Brown's Apple

  • (early 1900's South Devon, England, UK) Classed as very sharp, vintage. Medium to large flat fruit, skin is dull red over green.
  • Brown Snout

  • (1850 Herefordshire, UK) Classed as mild bittersweet. Named from russet around eye of the apple.
  • Brown Thorn

  • (1800's UK) Classed as mild bittersweet. Flecked with red, covered in russet.
  • Brunnsapple

  • (Sweden) Classed as mild bittersweet.
  • Bulmer's Norman

  • (early 1900's Normandy, France) Classed as bittersweet. Medium to large conical fruit. Skin yellow-green, smooth and waxy, blush rare, russet in stem basin. Flesh white, sweet astringent. Ripens in October.
  • Chisel Jersey

  • (1800's Somerset, UK) Classed as bittersweet. Name comes from "Jay-see" which is a term used to signify a bitter apple or an apple with a "nose". Medium size fruit is green with red flush. Used to make cider of full body, good flavor and aroma.
  • Dabinette

  • (Somerset, England, UK) Believed to be a Chisel Jersey seedling. Classed as bittersweet, vintage. Small to medium greenish yellow fruit covered with red blush. Flesh greenish-white, slightly crisp, sweet astringent. Produces a sweet, astringent juice and a bittersweet cider.
  • Domaines

  • Classed as bitter, ripens in October.
  • Ellis Bitter

  • (late 1800's Somerset, UK) Classed as medium bittersweet, ripens in late October.
  • Fillbarrel

  • (late 1800's Somerset, UK) Classed as mild bittersweet, ripens in late October.
  • Foxwhelp

  • (early 1600's Gloucestershire, England, UK) Classed as bittersharp, vintage. Medium to large size fruit. Skin is light yellow with pale red stripes on sunny side, rough. Flesh is yellow, coarse and juicy. Flavor is unique and acid. One of the few varieties that can be used as a "single apple variety" cider.
  • Genet Moyle

  • (widely grown by the 17th Century UK) Produces a light cider.
  • Gilpin

  • (1700's Virginia, USA) Classed as sweet. Medium size fruit, solid red skin. Coarse, crisp flesh. Ripens in October.
  • Golden Harvey

  • (early 1600's Hertfordshire, UK) Classed as sweet sharp. Small to medium size fruit with golden russet skin. Swwet sharp flesh with intense taste, makes strong cider due to it's high specific gravity and is sometimes called Brandy Apple.
  • Golden Spire

  • (1850 Lancashire, UK) Medium size fruits have coarse, crisp flesh with an acid and astringent flavour.
  • Harry Master's Jersey

  • (late 1800's Somerset, England UK) Classed as medium to full bittersweet, vintage. Medium to large size fruit. Green skin covered in red stripes with dark red blush.
  • Hewe's Crab

  • Also known as Virginia Crab. The Hewes (Virginia) Crab was one of the major cider varieties that Thomas Jefferson planted in the north orchard at Monticello. It makes a very high-flavored dry cider, which maintains its quality for a long time and ferments very slowly.
  • Kingston Black

  • (1900 Somerset, England UK) Classed as bittersharp, vintage. Small to medium size fruit. Skin dark mahogany or deep crimson. Juice plentiful and of a dark tawny red color. Flavor moderately sweet and acid with a strong astringment after taste. Ripens in late October.
  • Le Bret

  • (England UK) Medium to large size fruit, classed as sweet.
  • Major

  • (1880's Somerset, England UK) Classed as full bittersweet, vintage. Large greenish yellow apples with red blush.
  • Marin Onfroy

  • (1949 Pont-de-la-Maye, France) small size fruit, skin green ground, 30-80% red striped. Flesh firm, spongy, dry, white, sometimes severe watercore. Flavor sweet, slightly astringent. French cider apple.
  • Medaille d'Or

  • (1884 France) Classed as full bittersweet. A small to medium sized fruit with russeted yellow and orange skin.
  • Michelin

  • (1872 Normandy) Classed as medium bittersweet. Small to medium pale green fruit.
  • Muscadet de Bernay

  • (France) Classed as medium bittersweet. Small to medium pale green fruit with red blush.
  • Muscadet de Dieppe

  • (1750 France) Classed as bittersweet, vintage. Small to medium size fruit with orange red skin. One of the very few apple varieties that will make excellent hard cider without blending. Ripens in mid September.
  • Muscadet de Lense

  • (France) Classed as bittersweet, vintage. Small fruit, skin 30-60% red, striped. Flesh firm, greenish cream-colored, oxidizes rapidly.
  • Northwood

  • (England UK) Medium to large size fruit, classed as sweet.
  • Porter's Perfection

  • (1800 Somerset, UK) Classed as medium bittersharp. Medium to large fruit cream skin and red blush.
  • Smokehouse

  • (before 1837 Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA) Large fruit has greenish-yellow skin covered with shades and stripes of red. Flesh is yellowish, crisp and firm with a pleasing spicy flavor. Fresh cider flavor.
  • Somerset Redstreak

  • (late 1800's Somerset, UK) Classed as mild bittersweet. Medium size fruit with striped and blushed red skin.
  • Stembridge Cluster

  • (late 1940's Somerset, UK) Classed as sharp. Small yellow fruit, slightly flushed.
  • Stembridge Jersey

  • (UK) Classed as bittersweet.
  • Stoke Red

  • (Devon, England, UK) Classed as "bittersharp". Small, flattened spherical fruit. Smooth, slightly waxy, sometimes dry skin, dark red with slight stripe. Flesh white and slightly reddened, soft, very juicy, usually some astringency. Ripens in October.
  • Sweet Alford

  • (early 1700's Devon, England, UK) Classed as sweet to mild bittersweet, vintage. Small pale yellow fruit with red blush.
  • Sweet Coppin

  • (Devon, England, UK) Classed as pure sweet, vintage. Medium to large, conical fruit. Dry, yellow to yellowish-green skin with slight blush. Ripens in September.
  • Tale Sweet

  • (England, UK) Classed as sweet.
  • Taliaferro

  • (before 1800 Virginia, USA) If this is Taliaferro, it was supposed to have been one of Thomas Jefferson's favorite apples for making cider.
  • Taylor's Sweet

  • (1883 Worcester, England, UK) Sweet.
  • Tom Putt

  • (late 1700's West Country, England, UK) Classed as sharp. Medium to large green fruit with red blush.
  • Tremlett's Bitter

  • (late 1800's Devonshire, England, UK) Classed as full bittersweet. Small to medium red fruit.
  • Vilberie

  • (England, UK) Classed as bittersweet.
  • White Jersey

  • (England, UK)
  • Wickson

  • (1944 California, USA) Classed as "sweet". Newtown Pippin x Esopus Spitzenberg cross. Small to medium size fruit. Skin 70-90% red, striped. Shape round-conic, flesh firm. Flavor sweet, up to 25% sugar, with acid tang. An Albert Etter introduction. Ripens in mid October.
  • Yarlington Mill

  • (Yarlington, North Cadbury, Somerset, England, UK) Classed as "bittersweet". Medium size, conical fruit. Lightly striped dark red skin, smooth, slightly waxy, yellow. Flesh white, reddish below skin, slightly crisp with some astringency. Ripens in October.
Home Orchard Main Page Antique & Unusual Apples Red Fleshed Apples

Russet Apples Pearmain Apples Pippin Apples Limbertwig Apples

Gilliflower Apples Cider Apples Common Favorite Apples Named Seedling and Unknown Apples

Wanted Apples Pears Grapes Other Fruits