Starting this year, a new international system for grading maple syrup which was developed by the International Maple Syrup Institute will begin popping up in grocery stores. The new maple grading system was created in order to make understanding maple syrup grades simpler for customers. Rather than having two grading systems (the U.S. system and the Canadian system), one universal grading method will replace them.
Before this new system was created, U.S. maple syrup was classified into two grades: Grade A and Grade B. Under the improved system, all maple syrup will be Grade A pure maple syrup. All retail maple syrup will be Grade A, and will be broken down further into four distinct classes. Grade A Golden is the lightest and most subtly flavored class. Grade A Amber has a darker color and a bolder flavor. Grade A Dark has an even richer color and a more intense flavor than the Golden and the Amber. Fans of Grade B maple syrup will enjoy this class, as well as Grade A Very Dark. This class has the darkest color available for retail purchase and it has a very strong maple flavor. In addition to the retail grades, there will also be a Processing Grade maple syrup available only for commercial use.
Having just one grading system internationally is far less frustrating for consumers. As long as you know the basics of the grading system, picking out a variety of maple syrup will be a simple process.