Dual Purpose Cider Apples

I’ve decided that I want to grow dual purpose cider apples - you know, apples that makes good/great cider and aren’t spitters. So far I’ve found the following varieties to be written up as good for cider + eating. I’m looking for your feedback - apples I’ve missed, or ones that don’t belong on the list.

  • Arkansas Black
  • Arlet
  • Ashmead’s Kernel
  • Baldwin
  • Black Limbertwig
  • Black Oxford
  • Blue Pearmain
  • Calville Blanc D’Hiver
  • Campfield?
  • Cox Orange Pippin
  • Crimson Crisp
  • Crispin
  • Esopus Spitzenburg
  • Egremont Russet
  • Finkenwerder Herbsprinz
  • Golden Pearmain
  • Golden Russett
  • Goldrush
  • Granniwinkle
  • Gravenstein
  • Harrison
  • Hewe’s Virginia Crab
  • Holstein Cox
  • Hudson’s Golden Gem
  • Karmijn de Sonnaville
  • Keepsake
  • King David
  • Kinnaird’s Choice
  • Liberty
  • Margil (Reinette Musquee)
  • Newtown Pippin
  • Northern Spy
  • Northfield Beauty
  • Nova Spy
  • Orleans Reinette
  • Pink Pearl
  • Redfield
  • Roxbury Russet
  • St. Edmunds Pippin
  • Tom Putt
  • Tomkins King
  • Wickson
  • Winesap
  • Yates
  • Yellow Bellflower
  • Zabergau Reinette

Black Limbertwig had reputation years ago as an excellent cider apple plus great taste.

We have had excellent cider with arlet as a base. It tastes good fresh and is very pretty. Stores in the refrigerator till May in a ziplock. Baldwin was amazing as a stand alone cider as long as it is not over fermented. It has storage problems for us though. I am assuming you’re talking cider and not sweet juice.

Medaille d’Or is a full bittersweet, useful I a blend for the astringency and sugar content, but not for out of hand eating.
I like Hewe’s Virginia Crab, it is an early and intensely flavored apple that comes into bearing g relatively quickly. Another one is Roxbury Russet.

Second @JesseS comments.

Medaille d’Or as a dual purpose? No way - tastes awful out of hand (though it is a good bittersweet for cider).

Roxbury Russet is a great dual purpose (and makes a nice pie too).

I’d be surprised if Crispin/Mutsu was good for cider. Seems to me like the main quality that makes it nice out of hand, a crispy texture and light but good flavor, would not come through once fermented.

How about Grimes?

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Yes- old-timers used Grimes to boost alcohol as it has high sugar content.

I heard it was often used to make apple brandy in central Virginia, but I never tasted any.:smirk:

My grimes haven’t yet produced enough to squeeze but I’ve heard the juice is almost a syrup because of sugar content.

Ok, I found another resource talking about dual purpose cider apples - so I’ve updated the list in the first post.

I see you’re in Zone 9. Do you plan on conventional spray program? I found E. Spitzenburg very difficult to grow, to put it mildly, and believe it’s famous for its long list of problems. Grafted my ES over to something else. Baldwin same fate: took forever to fruit for me and then was nothing to write home about for taste here in Zone 7.

I’m going to attempt to grow the apples organically. Those that don’t make it will be grafted over. I’ve already got a cutting of Spitzenburg - but won’t be sad if it doesn’t make it.

I hope you’ll report back in future. Keep a close eye on Cox too- a blight magnet for me.

I would suggest Stayman over insted of Winesap and York

E.S. is an exceptionally good apple that is worth growing (and mine grows without problem in Z9).

Hudson’s Golden Gem has a mild flavor and I would not pick it for cider. .

If you haven’t already, give some thought to the seasons of what you end up planting and if you are up for the work of pressing juice more than once for early and late varieties.

Vohd- Very interesting you grow Spitzenburg without problems in Zone 9. Wow, you’re doing something right, congratulations. Are you in a dry climate? Cummins rates ES susceptible to all the common diseases, which was my experience.

Any relationship between the health of the tree and my orchard maintenance acumen is purely coincidental.

I do not get summer rains and humidity is low from April-October, though.

The only trouble that I’ve had with it is poor set in low chill winters.

Bumping this up in order to ask @applenut a question:

Kevin-- How does the Black Oxford apple of Maine hold up in the heat you encounter in southern Calif?

Is there anyone out there who has tried growing Black Oxford in the Mid-Atlantic or Deep South? How does it handle the extra heat AND humidity?

Matt- John Bunker at Fedco Trees, Black Oxford expert, rates it in his catalog for zone 4 and 5 only, no other zones mentioned. So if it succeeds in e.g. 6 or 7 Bunker must not be aware of it. I thought about it too but decided no.

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It does really well here, bears like a maniac and makes pretty decent apples. I believe John Bunker does give us a nod in his description in the Fedco catalog.