Understanding Maple Grades

Many supporters of Crown Maple® know that maple syrup is graded according to color and flavor. The previous grading system led to confusion, evoking questions such as:

  • When I see a bottle of Grade A Light Amber Pure Maple Syrup on a store shelf, what does that mean? Will it have a real maple flavor?
  • Is Grade B inferior to Grade A?
  • Why has light colored syrup been called “Grade A Light” in some states, “Fancy” in Vermont, and No. 1 Extra Light or Light in Canada? Is there a difference?

Historically, the United States and Canada have had different grading systems; states and provinces have had their own rules. For the past several years, the maple industry has been working together with the state, province and federal governments to come up with a single system that everyone will use. 

Finally, an agreement has been reached. The same Crown Maple Syrup that you know and love will still be available; the individual grades will just have new names.

The new grading system uses color and flavor descriptions, which should make it more clear when making maple syrup selections.   Here’s what it means to you:

Maple Grades

If you prefer a milder maple flavor we recommend Amber Color and Rich Taste. If you like a deeper maple flavor - or for cooking or baking - try Dark Color and Robust Taste.  The lightest grade, Golden Color and Delicate Taste, has a more nuanced flavor and Very Dark Color and Strong Taste is extremely potent.

This grading system will eventually be used throughout the entire maple producing regions of the USA and Canada, and went into effect here in New York on January 1, 2015.

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