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Cap of Liberty

Why you should be excited

Cap of Liberty is a very old, almost-forgotten English bittersharp cider apple, well-suited to be part of a cider blend.

The story of Cap of Liberty

You know you're dealing with an old apple variety... a really, really old apple variety... when the debate is not over which year or which decade it originated, but rather which century. Was it the 11th, 12th, 13th or 14th century that first saw Cap of Liberty identified? We don't know.

But we do know it's a bittersharp cider apple (high tannins and also high acid) and that it's well-suited to use in a cider blend, especially one also including lots of sweet and/or bittersweet varieties.

In fact, testing by Washington State University found that it's got complex, spicy flavours that are evident when Cap of Liberty juice is properly blended with other varieties to make cider.

Cap of Liberty Facts

Its origins

Discovered in England, sometime between the 11th and 14th centuries.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Makes a fairly low alcohol, mildly bitter and acidic cider on its own. Best to blend with sweeter, low-acid apples.

Appearance

Round and squat with light red over a green-yellow background.

When they’re available

Late season (usually in early October).

Quality for fresh eating

Awful. This is a cider apple, for Pete's sake!

Quality for cooking

Nope. Just for cider, folks.

Quality for cider

A highly useful bittersharp cider apple.

Keeping ability

Minimal (a few weeks 'sweating' at most).