Brownlees' Russet was a popular russet apple in the Victorian era but unlike some of its contemporaries (notably Egremont Russet) it has faded from view. It was rated by the Victorian writer Hogg as an excellent late apple, suitable for dessert and cooking.
Brownlees' Russet is noticeably different from the mainstream russet varieties characterised by Egremont Russet. The flavour is more robust with pear-drop overtones, and it is a far better keeper than many other russets, it is probably at its best when stored for at least 2-3 months. When under-ripe, it is noticeably acid and browns quickly owing to a high tannin content (and therefore suitable for a late cider). It can make excellent eating in April and May.
However it shares some of the other typical characteristics of russet apples - it is easy to grow and has good disease resistance, and attractive blossom.