Maple Grading System
Maple Syrup comes in a variety of grades. The grades are based off of both the color and the flavor of the maple syrup. The darker the color the lower the grade and the stronger the flavor the lower the grade.
The lightest syrup in both color and flavor is Grade A Golden Color with Delicate Taste (Fancy). This is the lightest of all the grades and is ideal for those who prefer the sweetness over the smokey maple flavor.
The preference of most people is Grade A Amber Color with Rich Taste (Grade A Medium Amber). It is the perfect balance of flavor and sweetness for just about any use from pancakes, to ice cream! This is the most abundant and most popular grade.
Grade A Dark Color with Robust taste (Grade A Dark Amber and Grade B) is for those who prefer a slightly stronger maple flavor.
Grade A Very Dark Color with Strong Taste (Grade C) is most commonly used for cooking and baking because of its stronger maple flavor, It is also thought to be healthier and seen in many health conscious recipes, however, all syrup has the same antioxidant levels, trace minerals, and sugar content, so choose whatever tastes best to you!
The Grading system has recently changed, here is the new comparison chart to compare old grades to the new grades. The intent is to make it better for the consumer to understand what they are buying worldwide.
New International Standard vs Old Vermont Standards