This variety is old, revered, and hard to find. I've never tasted one before.
This medium-sized fruit has an orange-tinged red blush that is streaky on the shaded side and speckled with many light lenticels of varying sizes. It is noticeably ribbed and has a sweet smell of cider and pears.
The flesh of my Esopus Spitzenberg is yellow, coarse, and firm, still reasonably crisp but tender. Its taste is nicely balanced and has pronounced acidity. This is a flavorful old-style apple after the manner of a Ribston or Cox's. The peel is thick and adds some sharpness to the finish. There are floral notes and hints of peach and something citrus, pineapple perhaps.
Esopus originated around 1700 near the town of that name in New York's Hudson valley. Many online sources repeat the claim that this variety was Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple--without citing any authority (although E. Spitz is mentioned in a charming story about Jefferson in the Twinleaf Journal). Esopus also gets respectful treatment in Orange Pippin.
My samples reached me a month (at least) past picking. They were very good but if I get a better sample next year I will revisit this variety. (If, that is, I take this blog into a second season.)
Update: Some clearer flavors from fresher samples of this excellent apple are here.
In the mean time, if you are so lucky as to find this apple, take my advice and do not pass it by.