Large and prominently ribbed with distinct lobes, Lyscom has an open calyx and a very shallow stem well. Its blush is a streakey blotchy wash of dull red and purple over green: the effect is almost brown in places.
Large Lyscom unbroken has a sweet grassy aroma and a firm feel.
The flesh is light yellow, moderately crisp, and slightly coarse. Lyscom's flavor is balanced with some tartness, pear at first giving way to some astringent notes: lemon, spice, and a vinous quality.
These assertive flavors may not appeal to the sweet-tooth crowd but Lyscom is fun to eat. Texture, size, and flavors combine with a light acidity to make a refreshing substantial snack.
Lyscom is one of those old apples that only survives today due to conservation efforts, and consequently growers have very little to say about it online. In such cases we can repair to Spencer Beech's 1905 work, The Apples of New York.
Beech et al. gently damned this variety with faint praise ("not high in flavor but acceptable for either desert or culinary uses"), but I find it flavorful and enjoyed it as much or more than many other heirlooms.
More of the story of this apple, originated by Samuel Lyscom in Southborough, Massachusetts, is available here. The apple is, or was, also known as Matthew's Stripe.