Perhaps the most famous, familiar, and popular of Northeastern apples. Available year-round, though quality varies. Also known as "Mac." They even named a computer after it (misspelling the name).
McIntosh is generally medium-sized and nearly perfectly round, though some show a little ribbing. Its attractive crimson blush can be streaky and is accented with light spots that are larger than most.
The flesh is fine-grained, juicy, and white, sometimes with green highlights. It is reasonably crisp and firm though yielding.
McIntosh's superb flavor is tart balanced with sweet, with some acidity and a mix of berry and spice. There are hints of melon and zinc, and the skin is on the chewy side.
The net effect is greater than the sum of the parts of this description. Some describe the result as vinous (as in wine). This is an immensely satisfying apple with a complex and appealing taste that lingers pleasingly. It is well worth seeking out in season and is often a good bet after the season is done.
Many sources agree the McIntosh was discovered by John McIntosh on his farm in Ontario in 1881. O, Canada! The Mac is the sire of many other varieties, including Macoun, Spencer, Empire, Spartan, and Cortland.