Maple producers have no control over which grade they make. Generally speaking, lighter syrup is made earlier in the season, and dark syrup is made later. But because Mother Nature is unpredictable, anything can happen. In addition, the trees themselves undergo chemical changes which can affect the grade of syrup produced. The question of which grade is best is a matter of personal choice. But one thing is certain - all maple syrup grades are better than the artificial syrups.

Maple Syrup Grades

Grade A Fancy Light Amber:Fancy Light Amber
Very light syrup. Has a mild and delicate flavor. Made earlier in the season when the weather is colder. Ideal for making maple candy or maple cream. Has a more subtle flavor.

Grade A Dark Amber:Dark Amber
Even darker, with a strong rich maple flavor. made late in the season when the days are longer and warmer. Ideal for table use if a stronger flavor is preferred. Also used for cooking.

Grade A Medium Amber:Medium Amber
A bit darker, with a stronger maple flavor. Made about mid-season when the weather begins to warm up. Also the most popular table syrup. Good for all around use.

Grade B:Grade B
Made late in the season. It is very dark with a strong maple flavor. Also has a slight caramel flavor. Because of its strong flavor, it is also used as a cooking syrup and can be used for baking, cooking, and flavoring certain foods.