These are traditional hard cider varieties, mostly from England or Normandy. The "bitters" are quite astringent; used as 3 to 5% in fresh sweet cider, bitters contribute to a cleaner "mouthfeel," a more refreshing aftertaste.
Notes on apples for cidre-making, based on writings of Williams & Childs; Browning; and the French Committee on Cidre-making
How the Cider types are categorized:
Sharp: Acid(%) >0.45 Tannin(%) <0.20
Bitter-sharp: Acid(%) >0.45 Tannin(%) >0.20
Bitter-sweet: Acid(%) <0.45 Tannin(%) >0.20
Sweet: Acid(%) <0.45 Tannin(%) <0.20
Baldwin(Also known as: Woodpecker) Parentage / Origin: Chance seedling; Discovered Massachusetts, USA, 1740 Harvest / Season: Harvest: Late September early-October, Season: October - Feb Description: Medium to large, yellow base flushed with orange and striped red. Juicy with sweet to sub-acid flavor, aromatic and firm. Good cider base. Usually a productive and vigorous tree. Often a biennial bearer. Triploid.
Bramley's Seedling. Old English variety; the standard culinary apple of England. Vigorous and productive. Late blooming. Ripens early October. High vitamin C. Considerable tolerance to scab and powdery mildew. Triploid.
Crimson King No astringency. Makes "vintage" cider. Fruit larger than most English cider apples 2-1/4". Useful as a cooker. Triploid. England, late XIX century. Bloom early midseason. Heavy cropper; vigorous. Scab susceptible.
GOLDEN RUSSET Classic American cider apple. High sugar. Late ripening and very long keeping. One of the very best eating apples
Roxbury Russet.--This oldest American variety has long storage life; makes a good single-variety sweet cider.
Stembridge Jersey.--Productive, but tends to be biennial. Mid-October harvest.
Ashmeads Kernel Gloucester, England, 1720. A speculated seedling of Nonpareil. Harvest: mid-October, Season: December - February. An old English winter russet, medium size, golden-brown skin with a crisp nutty snap, exploding with champagne-sherbet juice infused with a lingering scent of orange blossom. Flesh is dense, sugary and aromatic with intense flavor, characteristic of russets. Winner of taste tests and has SOME RESISTANCE TO SCAB AND CEDAR APPLE RUST. Triploid
Black Oxford Unknown parentage. Paris, ME (Oxford County), about 1790. Black Oxford's most distinctive characteristic is its rich dark purple skin color. Sometimes the purple looks almost black. Occasionally there may be patches where the purple is striped and the yellow/green ground color shows through. Around the cavity (stem end) there is often a light purple splash, and there are usually numerous light purple dots. A tree full of deep purple Black Oxfords is a sight everyone should see some time in their life. The visual effect is unique and even awe-inspiring. The trees tend to overbear which looks all the more spectacular, but can result in smaller sized fruit.
Burgundy Parentage / Origin: Monroe/Macoun x Antonovka Harvest / Season: Harvest: September Description: Fruit is large, round, very intense pigment, almost blackish red. Solid blush without stripes. Skin is smooth and glossy. Flesh crisp, sub-acid, very good eating quality. Fruits hang well for 3 weeks after harvest ripe. Storage life is short, no more than a month. Tree Characteristics: Susceptible to Cedar-Apple Rust.
Court Royal (Sweet Blenheim)--Late ripening. Dual-purpose dessert variety; 2-1/4". Triploid. Scab-susceptible.High sugar content. Makes fast-fermenting juice, and a pure light cider.
Gilpin 200-year-old Virginia cider apple. Late blooming; October ripening. Coarse, crisp flesh; sweet and tender.
LeBret .--England, early 1900s. Late midseason harvest; fuit 2-1/4". Bloom early. Tree not vigorous.
Marin Oufroy. Late midseason bloom. Moderately productive.
NORTHWOOD. "Vintage cider". English, 18th century. Bloom midseason. Tree medium vigor. Late harvest.
Sweet Coppin.--Late midseason maturity. Makes "vintage" cidre, but no astringency. Midseason flowering. Precocious and productive. Very low tannins. Fruit 2-1/2". Tends to go biennial. Tolerant to blight. England, early 18th century.
Wickson An Albert Etter cross: Newtown Pippin x Esopus Spitzenburg. Very high Brix, up to 25, with high acid. Flavor probably too strong for most folks to enjoy as dessert apple. Outstanding cider.
Domaines.--Early October maturity. Very productive. Scab susceptible. Vigorous.
Dolgo Crab One of the best all purpose crab apples. Its large 1 1/2 inch crimson fruit make a rich, ruby red jelly. The leaves are green and mildew resistant. The profuse flowers are white. The name means ‘long’ in Russian, and refers to the shape of the fruit. The fruit is so bright in color and abundant that the tree looks like a decorated Christmas tree when viewed from a distance. The fruit ripens in early September. The tree will grow to about 10\' on EMLA 7 rootstock
Frequin Rouge.--Precocious and productive. Scab and fire blight susceptible. Matures early midseason. Moderately vigorous.
Golden Hornet.--Very large quantities of small (1/2-inch) yellow crabapples. Tolerant to scab, mildew and fire blight. Annual bearing. Much used as a pollenizer for mid- and late-season blooming varieties.
Mettais.--Productive. Matures early midseason. Moderate vigor
Bedan.--Late blooming. Late midseason maturity. Precocious and productive. Disease-tolerant, including fire blight.
Binet Rouge. Precocious and productive; a staple for French cidre-makers. Tree heavily feathered. Late blooming. Matures early midseason. Mildew susceptible.
Brown Snout.--England, 1850s. Late harvest; relatively short storage life. Late blooming; supposedly self-fruitful. Fruit small (1-3/4"), yellow, light wax. Scab susceptible. Very susceptible to fire blight.
Brown Thorn Very mildly bitter. Very old variety from Normandy, where it is known as 'Argile Grise'. Late bloom. Tree vigor medium. Late harvest. Very susceptible to fire blight.
Bulmer's Norman.--Standard bittersweet in England; originated in Normandy. Triploid; strong grower. Early bloom. Mid-October harvest. Tends to be biennial. Poor pollen. Fair tolerance to blight. Scab susceptible. Fruit 2-1/4", greenish-yellow. Very winter hardy -- has come through -40 without serious damage.
Calvile Blanc (D'Hiver) (Also known as: Calville Blanc d\'Hiver). Origin: Introduced 1598 France or Germany. Harvest: late October; Season: November-March Description: Gourmet culinary apple of France, excellent for tarts. Good juice apple with more vitamin C than an orange. A great cider base. Good sauce and cooking apple as well. Fruit medium-large uniquely shaped, yellow / pale green with light red dots on sunny side. Flesh tender, sweet, juicy. Aromatic, spicy flavor. Tree Characteristics: Tree does best in warm soil, against a sunny wall or bank. Precocious bearer.
Centennial Crab ( Dolgo X Wealthy) It originated at the University of Minnesota, Excelsior, and introduced in 1957. The tree is very productive annually, and moderately resistant to fire blight. The fruit is medium large, 4.0-4.5 cm (12-1¾\\\\\\\") in diameter, round conic, long stemmed, with a narrow shallow stem cavity and flat basin; and it matures in mid season from searly to mid September. The skin is orange-yellow, fully striped and overlaid with red with corky lenticels, and covered with a medium purplish bloom. The flesh is yellow, crisp, tender juicy and mildly acid. Good for blending in ciders as well as for fresh eating and cooking, especially sauce. Genetic semidwarf. Excellent flavor. Scab resistant. Very winter hardy. Mid-season bloom.
Chisel Jersey.--Very astringent -- "full bittersweet". Precocious and productive. English, 19th century. Late bloom and late harvest. Very winter-hardy. Being heavily planted in England. Scab-susceptible.
Coat Jersey . Custom only Vigorous tree; very productive. Bloom late midseason. Late ripening. Very susceptible to scab; susceptible to fire blight. Fruit 1-3/4".
Collaos The Collaos tree is medium vigor, with erect growth. Highly productive, annual bearing. Resistant to common diseases. Late bloom time. Fruit is large, juicy, very astringent, with firm granular flesh texture. Skin is green breaking to yellow as fruit ripen. High juice yields of high tannin content. Very late ripening (early November). One of the preferred cider apples in northern Spain.
Court Pendu Plat Old variety known since 1613, probable origins in Roman times. The name is derived from Corps Pendu, referring to the shortness of the stem. Skin is greenish-yellow becoming flushed with orange-red with short broken stripes. A good cropper with rich, aromatic fruit with a good balance of sugar and acid. Suitable for areas with late spring frost because it blooms very late and is cold hardy.
Dabinett.-- Seedling of Chisel Jersey. Harvest: October - November. English cider apple. High quality juice. Tree of low vigor, does well with high fertility levels. Shade tolerant. Bears young and is a regular good producer, considerable tolerance to fireblight and scab MOST RELIABLE BITTERSWEET TO GROW; EXCELLENT JUICE. Precocious and very productive. Makes a sweet, full-bodied cidre. Widely planted in England and France. Natural semidwarf. Fruit 1-3/4".
Ellis Bitter.--Vigorous. Precocious and productive; tip bearer. Late blooming. September harvest. Fruit large(2-1/4"), yellow. Widely planted in West Country of England. Susceptible to fire blight. Scab moderately susceptible. Short storage life.
Harry Masters Jersey. "Full bittersweet" making "vintage cider". Small conical fruit. Precocious and productive. Late midseason harvest. Late flowering. Fruit 2". Easy to turn biennial. Scab susceptible. England, XIX century.
Major.--"Full bittersweet"; makes a soft vintage cidre. Very productive in New York. Bloom medium-late. Fruit 1-3/4". Vigorous. Late November harvest. Scab moderately susceptible. English, 1880s.
Yarlington Mills Sweet and mildly bitter; makes vintage cider. Late October. Fruit 2-1/4 inches, conic. Bloom early midseason. Distinctive large, dark green leaves. Precocious and consistently productive though somewhat biennial. Quite winter hardy. Moderately susceptible to scab.
Varieties we no longer propagate on speculation but will gladly make for you:
Dymock Red Not budded for 2012