Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Sweet 16 revisited

Large, ribbed, red-blushed apple with a blemish spot near the crown on one side.

Yes, there was a flaw in this apple.

I bought it anyway because so what, and also because it was the only one left.

I've been wanting to retaste Sweet 16 ever since some of my readers told me that my 2011 tasting sample did not express this apple's true flavors. So:

This is a large apple, ribbed and conical, with a streaky red blush that is pretty saturated on what I take to be the sunward side of this apple. The underlying peel is yellow, as far as I can make out.

The apple wears a generous dusting of distinct light lenticels. Ignore the scar and this is a handsome fruit.

A bite reveals coarse-grained yellow flesh that is light, crisp, and juicy. There is a lot of corn-syrup sugar upfront and a little cherry candy.

That taste reminds me of a cherry cough drop, but others describe it as "cherry twizzler." I think I caught sight of a floral note, but it is obscured by the candy.

Some have suggested anise, and other flavors. If it's there, it is not obvious.

There must be some acidity throughout to keep things in line but I only really notice that in the finish, which is just a little harsh.

My readers also describe the taste as "in your face," and it is intensely present in this one. But I liked my 2011 version better.

The texture is great, and those flavors will likely appeal to many, though they are a bit much for me.

Of course, I cut away the bad spot.


  1. You may just need to visit the Midwest (Minnesota in particular) to get Sweet Sixteen's flavor as intended. Our stock description is "cherry popsicle with a hint of anise."

  2. I find it highly variable. This year it's just anise. I think most years it's more cherry/almond with some anise. It's almost always intense, unless over ripe.

  3. With the addition of 5 of these Sweet 16 apple trees to my small one acre orchard I’m definitely hoping to see if this cherry lifesaver flavor comes thru.

  4. This is the other apple tree I planted in my backyard (the first being a Topaz). Like the Topaz I received my first fruit this year.

    The cherry flavour was present though not as sweet as I would have expected. I believe impatience got the better of me - next year I'm waiting longer into October. Hopefully I'll have more than 2 apples to sample next time.

  5. Along with Sweet 16 I also planted Snow Sweet and Zestar because of their being parents of the Honeycrisp and Sweetango respectfully. Zestar is a early apple with short season of crispness but excellent flavor I found.

  6. The speed with which these comments appeared shows how passionate people are about this distinctive apple!

    Plenty more comments in the 2011 review, too.

  7. I grow them in N. WI and can attest to the strong cherry flavor. I've never detected any anise in the flavor. They are fairly biennial and quite vigorous - I mostly juice them as they don't keep well and I find them too sweet for my liking.


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