What does Kingston Black apple tastes like?

It is hailed as the perfect cider apple because of trinity of sugars, tannins and acidity, but what does it actually tastes like if you take a bite?

I’m on the second year of trialing the Franklin cider crab which is being heralded as the second coming of Jesus, if Jesus was a Kingston Black apple. I’m poking fun at the marketing copy because it comes courtesy of Stark Bros and they can be quite generous with their descriptions.

Having said that I’m impressed with the Franklin crab (not that Stark Bros ever bother to mention that it is a crab, they sell it as an apple). I had a batch of cider from less ideal apples brewing and it was downright mediocre, until I blended in juice from these puppies and it lifted it into awesome territory. The apples hold onto the tree tenaciously so the plan for next year is to let them freeze on the tree so the juice can concentrate a bit more.


Haven’t had the pleasure to get my hands on any Kingston Black apples for tasting yet (nor Franklin cider), but they are both on my grafting/planting list for this spring. I have only tasted Kingston Black in cider. I have heard some people like eating Kingston Black though. Trees of Antiquity describes it as “aromatic with a sweet-acid flavor and a noticeable astringent aftertaste.”

For single varietal cider, comparing Kingston Black and Franklin, I’ve only tasted each once, from different cideries from different parts of the country in different years. So maybe not the best comparison. But Franklin seemed a little higher in acids and tannins. Both were really good, not the best ciders I’ve had but maybe the best single varietals. I’d give a slight edge to Franklin from my limited experience because it was a little more bold with the acid, which I like.

Sadly it is too cold here for Kingston Black. The Franklin is a bit of a late apple for our environs but at least this past year it delivered just in time. As stated I plan on letting both Franklin and Kerr freeze on the trees before pressing. Kerr produces a ruby-red juice that tastes like cranberries, I’m looking forward to see what comes out of that blend.

Mine could have been a tad on the unripe side but they were pretty much inedible, way too acidic and tannic. On the other hand as stated it lifted a mediocre blend into something fantastic.