Spartan is a deep marroon-colored apple with an excellent refreshing sweet flavor. Apple text books often describe the flavor as "vinous" and it can indeed have a wine-like quality, although this is first and foremost a crisp sweet juicy unpretentious apple.
That flavor, and the crimson skin, are an easy clue that Spartan is related to the famous Canadian McIntosh apple. Spartan is undoubtedly one of the best of the many varieties which trace their ancestry back to McIntosh.
Spartan ripens quite late in the season, usually around early October. The apples will remain on the tree over a 2-3 week period, which means you can pick a few at a time rather than have to deal with a glut. This is also the best way to enjoy them because although they keep fairly well, the flavor and crispness fade in storage.
Spartan is a simple unpretentious apple, and when eaten straight from the tree on a crisp cold morning is a real delight.