New Vermont Maple Syrup Grades
As many of you are aware, the latest USDA guidelines require all maple producers in the United States to adopt a new, international maple grading system. Vermont is rolling out this new system by January 2015.
First and foremost, please know that our syrup itself is NOT changing. It is still the same Vermont Maple Syrup that we have made for years. Vermont Maple Syrup still has a lower water content and higher sugar content than other maple syrups. The new grade names are more descriptive of the maple syrup's actual color and flavor. This change will make it easier for maple syrup "newbies" to find their favorite grade of maple syrup.
This all might seem a bit confusing if you are used to ordering your favorite old grade of maple syrup. Let us show you all about the new grades.
(Click the image for a larger view.)
Vermont Fancy = Vermont Grade A Golden Color/Delicate Taste
This grade hasn't changed much except for the name. Lightest in color and has a very light, delicate maple taste.
Vermont Medium Amber = Vermont Grade A Amber Color/Rich Taste
Not many changes here either. A little darker in color than the "Grade A Golden Color/Delicate Taste" grade mentioned above, with a slightly heavier maple taste. When people are getting a gift for a friend and do not know what grade to get them, we recommend this one.
Vermont Dark Amber = Vermont Grade A Amber Color/Rich Taste -OR- Vermont Grade A Dark Color/Robust Taste
Here's where it gets a little tricky. If you're a fan of the old "Dark Amber" grade, you can now choose between "Amber Color/Rich Taste" (described above) or "Dark Color/Robust Taste" (described below).
How to decide: if you like your syrup on the lighter side of dark, try "Amber Color/Rich Taste." If you like a more intense maple flavor or you're using your syrup in baking, "Dark Color/Robust Taste" is the way to go.
If you're still unsure, just stop by for a free taste test. And if you can't visit us, you could buy a small bottle of "Amber Color/Rich Taste" and a small bottle of "Dark Color/Rich Taste," and compare them for yourself. (Our 3.4oz/100mL Vergennes bottles are great for this purpose.)
Vermont Grade B = Vermont Grade A Dark Color/Robust Taste
This is the darkest of the four table grades and has the strongest maple taste of them all. More and more people who sample our syrup are taking home some Dark Color/Robust Taste. These people like the strong VT maple flavor. When the color of our maple syrup darkens and we start to produce this grade of syrup, we taste every batch for the good maple flavor.
Vermont Grade C/Commercial = Vermont Grade A Very Dark Color/Strong Taste
As the maple sugaring season draws closer to the end, the maple flavor will start to change. The buds on the maple trees are growing at a faster rate, because the weather is warming up and the excellent maple flavor will turn to a rancid buds taste. This maple syrup used to be called Grade C, but is now known as "Very Dark/Strong Taste." This grade is used as an additive for... you know what? 2% milk!
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Mom & Pop's World's Best Vermont Maple Syrup
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