I picked a peck of Kingston Black! So now I can finally find out what all the fuss is about. It’s a delicious tasting apple to eat out of hand, actually – not terribly tannic as I was expecting, but just a good balance of sweet and tart and low tannin, with a very pleasant appley flavor. I’ll eat a couple more then juice the rest. Actually I tasted 32 heritage apple varieties today, picked up 3 pecks total of 6 favorites, including the Kingston Black, with which I shall juice and make a very small batch of single varietal hard cider, English style. The others included Ellison’s Orange, Golden Noble, Wynoochee Early, Atlas, and Washington Strawberry. Some are good eaters, some will go to cider. I think I’ll be making 3 different kinds of cider this season… first Kingston Black, also a mixture of various other apples for another, and finally one with straight Ada Rainbow Orchard cider, as they make the best tasting unpasteurized cider on this planet. All small 1-2 gallon batches. That should do it for this season’s experimentation. For the Kingston, I’ll pick up some sort of English cider yeast, haven’t decided yet. For the others, good old reliable Cote des Blancs is the only way to go.
What are the rest of you cider geeks up to? I know there’s one or two of you out there… Newbs need not reply (although there’s nothing stopping you…).