Quick Grade Guide
The best grade for pancakes is a hotly disputed topic and, ultimately, a matter of preference. Grading is done by color (light transmission), plus a more subjective judgment about whether the flavor matches the expectations that accompany the color. All grades are equally "thick" -- the legal definition of maple syrup is based on a precise density that is the same for all grades. All grades are high quality, so the choice is strictly personal preference, and the grade names are intended to provide self explanatory taste and color guidance. It is enjoyable to try all grades and do your own comparative taste test.
Starting in 2015, Vermont and Federal Labeling Requirements have changed for maple syrup. We are now labeling in accordance with the new standards, shown below in bold, but to help you with the transition we include reference to the corresponding old names which have nearly equivalent color and taste criteria.
- Vermont Grade A, Golden, Delicate Taste (previously "Light Amber" and was traditionally "Fancy")
- Vermont Grade A, Amber, Rich Taste (previously "Medium Amber" and was traditionally "A")
- Vermont Grade A, Dark, Robust Taste (previously "Dark Amber" and was traditionally "B")
More information about Vermont grading requirements and definitions is available here.