Taylor’s Gold (thanks!) fruited for the first time this year on 3rd or 4th season (probably 4th) grafts as the top tier on my four tier Comice espalier. Pears cropped bigly for me this year, including Comice for the first time, a sporadic producer for years now. I have no idea why pears did so well, but I’m darned happy about it. Anyway, to your point on humidity and russeting, that seems a plausible explanation, as many of my russet varieties fail to fully russet, including Taylor’s Gold, which has only slightly greater russet overall compared to Comice. I’ll take pictures and compare taste when I start pulling both from cold storage four or five weeks from now.
Nye Russet Bartlett, on the other hand, although not fully russeted on most fruit, is definitely more russeted than Bartlett and, true to claims, is sweeter, measuring 2-2.5 points higher Brix (18) than Bartlett this season. The skin has a definite tannic bite, so that sweetness is welcome.
Herefordshire Russet is one of the few seemingly unaffected russet apples I’ve grown. If Tippy’s specimen is what they usually look like back East, then it grows true to form in multiple climates, because her apple looks just like mine.
Re Scott’s King Russet, I’ve fruited a handful both of the last two years and without fail they are hyper-cracked 1.5” balls of cork. I have a couple of older grafts and second leaf tree that is growing well, but I’m already considering grafting that tree over to something else (maybe another HR). I’ll give the grafts a couple more years and hope they settle down, though many other russets never did and were eliminated.
Finally, and most disappointingly so far, Hooples AG in its 4th leaf as a graft only produced a few small, cracked and corky apples last year (frosted off along with most of my other apples this year). I have a 2nd leaf tree of Hooples too, so it had better turn itself around, because I do not need three HR trees in my limited orchard, and I want more tasty russets.