Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association

ANNUAL TASTING OF ALASKA-GROWN APPLES 2006

January 23, 2007

ANNUAL TASTING OF ALASKA-GROWN APPLES

By Dwight Bradley

 

2006 Results

 

The annual apple tasting was held at Bradley’s in Peters Creek on Sept. 23, 2007.  About 30 people were there and 19 rated the apples.  Fifty-five different apple varieties were tasted along with nineteen duplicates.  Another dozen or so varieties were brought for display only, which weren’t ripe enough to bother tasting.  All in all, it was the usual crowded scene, with an amazing array of apples to taste.

 

Growers are identified by their initials:

 

BB = Bob Boyer

DB =  Dwight Bradley

DC = Dawn Cowan

DD = Dawn & Fred Deiser

DE = Dan Elliott

KI = Kevin Irvin

K = Kristiansen

NM = Nancy Moore

NN = Nicki & Bob Nielsen

MP = Mary Patania

DR = Dave Rankin

TS = Tami Schies

JY = Jim Yassick

MDY = Mario De Young

 

APPLES GROWN OUTDOORS

 

Variety Grower Sugar (°Brix) Mean score
Zestar DE 13 7.77
Prairie Magic DE 11.5 7.40
Prairie Magic TS 12.5 7.25
Novosibirski Sweet TS 14 6.78
Sunrise DR 12 6.57
Parkland DB 12.5 6.50
September Ruby DE 12.5 6.50
Ginger Gold DE 17 6.40
State Fair GRM 11.5 6.29
Quinte BB BB 14 6.29
Elliott’s Mystery DE 12.5 6.22
Noret DB 13.5 6.17
Carrol DE 12 6.15
Silken TS 12.5 6.11
Simonet DE 13 6.08
Centennial DB 13.5 6.00
Unknown NM 14 6.00
State Fair MDY 11 6.00
Carroll TS 13.5 5.88
Parkland TS 11.5 5.86
Ranger BB 11.5 5.75
8th & M JY 11 5.67
Norland K 11 5.67
Oriole DR 12 5.67
Drew Brook TS 11.5 5.63
Prairie Sun KI 12.5 5.63
Oriole TS 12 5.63
Oriole DE 10.5 5.60
Battleford DD 11 5.50
Yellow Jay DB 10 5.44
Summer Red TS 11 5.44
Lee 21 DE 12 5.43
Norquay Delight BB 11 5.43
Rescue TS 14 5.38
Russian unknown DD 12.5 5.33
Norland TS 11.5 5.33
Lee 21 NM 13 5.30
Norkent DE   5.29
Liveland Raspberry GRM 12 5.25
Norland DB 11 5.00
Ginger Gold JY 12 5.00
Mantet NM 12 5.00
1497 GRM 12 5.00
Liveland Raspberry DB 11 4.92
Beacon NM 12.5 4.92
Yellow Transparent DD 11.5 4.90
PF12 DE 11 4.90
Prairie Sun DB 12 4.80
Yellow Transparent NN 12.5 4.78
Goodland MW 10 4.75
Hazen NM 11 4.73
H12 JAP? 11 4.63
Lobo NM 11 4.63
Unknown (little green) DD   4.50
Goodland DC 12 4.50
Haralred KI 12 4.50
Sweet 16? JY 10 4.29
Oriole JY 11.5 4.20
Unknown Russian DD 11.5 4.20
Norland JY 11 4.00
Golden Uralian JY 12.5 3.92
Mantet JY 12 3.83
Dawn Crab TS 13 3.63
Yellow Transparent DB 12 3.50
Wealthy GRM 9 3.00

 

APPLES GROWN IN GREENHOUSE

Together, Bob Boyer and Kevin Irvin submitted enough greenhouse-grown apples to warrant separate ratings.  By my tally there were nine greenhouse entries but I might have missed a few more.  The winners were Silken and Cox Orange Pippin, both grown by Kevin.  Several of Bob’s entries were enormous, including Shizuka (22 ounces, 14.5 inch circumference!), with Honeycrisp and Molly’s Delicious barely smaller.  The tasting scores were similar to those of the better outdoor apples.

 

Variety Grower Sugar (°Brix) Mean

score

Silken KI 12 8.14
Cox Orange Pippin KI 13.5 7.00
Boyer Cortland BB 11.5 6.83
Shizuka BB 15 6.70
Molly’s Delicious BB 12.5 6.56
Sweet 16 KI 10.5 6.25
Stark Ultra Spire KI 11 5.71
Honeycrisp BB 10 5.67
North Pole Columnar KI 10 5.57

 

 

THIRTEEN-YEAR RESULTS

 

The next table ranks the Alaskan-grown varieties that have been tasted over the past thirteen years, since I’ve had the job of keeping track.  The main goal is to identify the best eating varieties.  The rankings are somewhat subjective, based on number of first-place, second-place, third-place, and top-ten finishes.  This is pretty easy for me to keep track of: I just update the list from last year and see if any changes in rank are indicated.  The ranking system favors apples that have been with us for all 13 years, and especially those (like Norland or Parkland) that are grown by lots of people and therefore have more than one entry in each annual tasting.  If there are four Norlands being tasted and they score 5, 6, 7, and 8, the “8” is what would count in the long-term ranking—an obvious flaw.  What about Mantet, Red Duchess, and Viking, each of which has finished first?  The problem with these three, and to a lesser extent State Fair, is that there are many off years when they rank near the bottom of a list of 30 to 50 varieties, generally because they are still unripe at the tasting.  It should be remembered that this is a ranking of eating quality during the last week of September.  The tastings are held at this time of year to maximize the number of apples in their prime: any earlier and not enough will be ripe (especially the more interesting kinds); any later and winter will have set in.  Chinese Golden Early, Geneva Early, Norland and Parkland would all be favored by an earlier tasting.  This year I’ve added a “Comments” column that helps explain some of my reasoning for the rankings.

 

And the new leader is …..

Zestar, which has moved into first, bumping Oriole down to number 2.

 

 

 

Variety (in order of rank) Years 1st Years 2nd Years 3rd Years in top 10 Comments
Zestar 4     4 A new variety with four straight first-place finishes
Oriole 2 1 4 9 Bumped from #1 by Zestar
Carroll 1 2   5 Moving up the list with several recent great years
Ginger Gold 2     6 Great when it ripens; poor in a cool year
September Ruby 1 1   6 Great when it ripens; poor in a cool year
Parkland   2 2 11 Absolutely reliable
State Fair   2 1 7 Great when it ripens; poor in a cool year
Norland   2 1 6 Absolutely reliable
Mantet 1     3 A great apple in a good year but seldom even in top ten
Prairie Magic   1   4 Moving up the list with several recent great years
Viking 1     2 One great year; many mediocre ones
Red Duchess 1     1 One great year; many mediocre ones
Golden Sentinel     1 4  
15th Street Mystery     1 4  
Roda Mantet   1   2  
Geneva Early   1   2  
Breaky   1   1  
8th & M  mystery     1 2  
Novosibirski Sweet     1 2  
Vista Bella     1 1  
Sunrise       4  
Rescue       3  
Simonet       3  
Lodi       2  
Harris       2  
Elliott Mystery       2  
Karmijn de Sonnaville       2  
Summerred       2  
Karl Franke mystery       1  
Golden Transparent       1  
Canada Red       1  
Arvid Miller mystery       1  
Whitney       1  
Joyce       1  
Red Mantet       1  
Pristine       1  
Patrick #3       1  
Jersey Mac       1  
Harolds       1  
Goodland       1  
Lowland Raspberry       1  
Sweet Sixteen       1  
Stark Ultraspire       1  
Garland       1  
Quinte       1  
Antonovka       1