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Kingston Black Apple Tree
KINGSTON BLACK is one of the classic cider apples, and is speculated to have originated in Somersetshire, England, about 1820. It is thought to be named after the village of Kingston St. Mary, near Taunton, and is probably related to other Somerset bittersharp varieties, such as Lambroook Pippin, and others. It is one of a very few single varieties used for high-quality cider making. Classed a bittersharp, the apple is an irregularly shaped medium-sized fruit about 2 inches high and 2 1/2 inches wide. The skin is a dark mahogany over an orange background, and the juice is a tawny red. It is moderately sweet, with a strong astringent aftertaste. The open framework tree blooms late and is a shy bearer. It does not grow very large. Kingston Black has the reputation of being difficult to grow. It contains 14.75% sugar that will ferment to 7% alcohol. It ripens in late September.