This medium-sized apple, bought at farmers market on September 30, has a glossy deep red blush that is half saturated and half washed out. Lenticels add a sparse decoration of tiny light spots, and one of my tasting samples has a few crackles of russet on the skin.
Spartan's flesh is medium-fine-grained and white with yellow highlights. It is very crisp and juicy, sweet with just a little tempering tartness. The even flavor is slightly vinous, with floral notes and a little spice, recalling its McIntosh parent. It is sweeter than Empire, which it somewhat resembles.
If McIntosh or Macoun is too tart for your tastes, you might give refreshing Spartan a try.
The product of a breeding program in Western Canada, Spartan was introduced in 1936. It is a cross between McIntosh and a variety that is unknown (other than not being Newtown Pippin, according to Wikipedia.)