Unmasking a Northern Spy

Northern Spy apples are a very late season, large and stout apple with carmine red skin married with streaks of yellow and pale green. Its tender-crisp esh is creamy yellow and juicy. It imparts a bit of a tartness in its bite, but more of a cider-quality avor with hints of pear and sweetness. All this juciness and versatile avor range makes it a prime partner for our complete line of hard ciders.

Current Facts

The Northern Spy is a naturally vigorous variety which will produce a relatively large tree, however while it is a hardy grower, it can take longer than most apple varieties to come into bearing. Known for its winter hardiness, Northern Spy apples can be stored up to three months in a cool dry place lasting well into early spring. Another great reason we tout it so highly in our production of almost all our cider blends.


The Northern Spy is as versatile as apples come. They can be served raw, baked, roasted, sautéed or slow cooked to a puree. Perfect for use in classic apple preparations such as pies, tarts and cobblers. Use fresh in fruit or green salads or serve alongside honey, cheese and nuts. Like many older varieties of apple the Northern Spy is well known for its (hard) cider making qualities.


The Northern Spy apple tree was rst planted in the early 1800s by Herman Chaplin in an East Bloomeld, New York orchard using seeds from Salisbury, Connecticut. Though this tree would not live long enough to bear fruit, sprouts taken from the original tree and replanted by Roswell Humphrey would go on to produce the rst Northern Spy apples. In 1852 the American Pomological Society listed the Northern Spy as a new variety of promise and a variety worth cultivating. Its popularity soon spread throughout New York as well as to northeast apple growing regions. Today the Northern Spy apple is grown mainly in the northeast United States, concentrated in the upper midwest for its perfect growing conditions as well as at a few specialty orchards on the west coast.