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The 13 Best Maple Syrups

beautyfully-styled-delicious-maple-syrup

Maple syrup is a sweet and rich store cupboard staple, but how can you tell the best maple syrups from poor quality imitations?

Well, we’ll be walking you through that with today’s bumper guide to all things maple syrup.

Just as tasty poured over sweet desserts or savory dressings, maple syrup adds a warmth that sugar alone cannot match. Where sugar simply sweetens dishes, maple syrup adds nutrients, texture, and character as well as a blast of sweetness.

Maple syrup is made from sap collected from maple trees then boiled. It is used a sugar substitute in many recipes worldwide. From baked goods and hoc chocolate to meat, tofu, or seitan, all you need do is ensure the flavor pairs well with your chosen recipe, and you can add another dimension to classic dishes.

Before you launch in and explore our reviews of the top 15 maple syrups in a crowded market segment, there are a few things to consider.

Maple syrup used to be sold using three letters as descriptors:

  1. A: Light
  2. B: Dark
  3. C: Very Dark

Unfortunately, this system led to widespread confusion, with many believing that A grade maple syrup was more refined and of generally higher quality.

This was not the case. The quality of each of the above syrups was the same.

The only different when it comes to maple syrup is the color and the taste. The maple syrup made using sap collected early in the season is paler. Maple syrup made using the sap collected in the warmer latter part of the season is much darker. The darker the maple syrup, the stronger the flavor.

A new system was introduced in 2014 in Vermont. This is the state producing most maple syrup in the US.

Now, all maple syrups are lettered A to avoid the previous confusion. In addition, they now come with more descriptive names.

By 2015, this system was officially sanctioned by the USDA, and you can expect labels to continue changing to reflect this new classification.

These new grades are as follows:

  1. Grade A: Golden Color & Delicate Taste – Once called Fancy or Vermont Fancy, light maple syrup works well on pancakes, waffles, and ice cream
  2. Grade A: Amber Color & Rich Flavor: This grade of syrup has a little more flavor. It works well for baking or cooking
  3. Grade A: Dark Color & Robust Flavor: Use this grade of maple syrup for any recipes calling for a pronounced maple flavor
  4. Grade A: Very Dark & Strong Flavor: The strongest grade of maple syrup is ideal used as a substitute for molasses when making candies

To keep things as simple as possible, we’ll stick with the labeling used on each of the brand’s packaging, so you can see exactly what you’re getting.

In addition to considering the above – which accounts for the flavor and color of the maple syrup – all you really need to concern yourself with is the size of the bottle and relative value and you’re in safe hands.

So, if you keep these pointers uppermost in mind, you’ll see that you’ll be shopping for maple syrups based primarily on the color and taste.

Explore 13 of the best maple syrups out there now and see if any of these make the right fit.


I. The 13 Best Maple Syrups

1. Our #1 Pick: Crown Maple Syrup

Crown-Maple-Bourbon-Barrel-Aged-Organic-Maple-Syrup

Features

  • Style: Bourbon barrel aged artisan quality
  • Size: 12.7oz
  • Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 7.25 inches

While choosing the best maple syrup is entirely personal, our favorite overall from today’s collection comes from Crown Maple Syrup.

Deviating from the standard grades laid out above, this syrup is classified as Artisan Quality & Robust flavor.

While the aging process in bourbon barrels imparts a slight flavor from the whiskey, this is not overpowering. Indeed, several consumers suggest there isn’t enough hint of bourbon. You should also notice notes of brown butter and vanilla.

If you’re shopping for sustainable syrup, this stuff comes certified organic for your peace of mind.

Ideal for drizzling on pancakes, waffles, and ice cream, you could also use this lip-smacking syrup in sauces and vinaigrettes for an extra-special touch. For a certified organic extravaganza and one of the finest maple syrups out there, you won’t be disappointed here.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Robust flavor
  • Certified organic
  • Rich and robust flavor
  • Several reported issues with mold

2. Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup

Anderson's-Pure-Maple-Syrup

Features

  • Style: Grade A (Very Dark)
  • Size: 32oz
  • Dimensions: 5.38 x 5.38 x 8.75 inches

Next in line is a very dark maple syrup from industry specialist Anderson’s. How does this stuff stack up, then?

Previously graded B but now relabeled as Grade A Very Dark, this deep and rich maple syrup is the darkest grade available. Expect plenty of flavor in line with this, and a syrup that works very well in a variety of recipes.

Some may find this syrup too flavorful and rich for drizzling over pancakes and waffles, while this taste overload might be just what others have been looking for.

The plastic bottle allows you to keep this 32oz syrup for up to 2 years, meaning you can reserve it for a special treat rather than needing to quickly consume it before it spoils.

Aside from a few isolated quality control concerns, the vast bulk of user reviews for this rich maple syrup are positive.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Loaded with antioxidants
  • Packed with flavor
  • Darkest grade available
  • Quality control concerns

3. Escuminac Extra-Rare Maple Syrup

Award-Winning-Escuminac-Extra-Rare-Maple-Syrup-16.9-fl

Features

  • Style: Grade A (Amber Color & Rich Taste)
  • Size: 16.9oz
  • Dimensions: 3.54 x 8.27 x 3.15 inches

Next up is a rich and fairly pale maple syrup from Escuminac, so what do you get for your money?

This extra-rare Canadian maple syrup is classified as Grade A Amber Rich taste, and it is the most delicate of all syrups produced by this outfit.

Sourced from a single forest, this manufacturer controls every element of the process, giving you an all-natural taste sensation.

Even better, with no additives, preservatives, or flavorings, this syrup should slot in with many special dietary requirements.

The only real drawback with this stuff is the price point, but then you always expect to pay a premium for quality.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • No additives or preservatives
  • All-natural flavor
  • Sourced from single forest
  • Pretty pricey

4. 365 Whole Foods Dark Maple Syrup

365-by-Whole-Foods-Market,-Syrup-Maple-Dark-Grade-A-Organic

Features

  • Style: Grade A (Dark)
  • Size: 32oz
  • Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 7.3 inches

365 Whole Foods serves up a completely non-GMO maple syrup that’s well worth popping on your shortlist.

This stuff is a dark Grade A maple syrup that has a pronounced flavor profile to complement that delectable dark coloring.

Not only do you get no genetically-modified ingredients, but this maple syrup is also ideal for vegans, and it’s kosher, too.

While we could find few complaints about the quality of this maple syrup, we can’t say the same for the packaging. Although it looks impressive at a glance, the lid is the weak point, so pay close attention to avoid a sticky mess all over the kitchen cupboard or refrigerator.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Non-GMO and certified organic
  • Strong and robust flavor
  • Vegan and kosher
  • Poor quality lids

5. NOW Foods Organic Maple Syrup

NOW-Foods,-Certified-Organic-Maple-Syrup

Features

  • Style: Grade A (Amber Color & Light Flavor)
  • Size: 32oz
  • Dimensions: 6 x 5 x 4 inches

NOW Foods delivers a completely organic maple syrup that’s well worth popping on your shortlist.

The generous 32ox bottle is packed with a super-light syrup that makes a great complement for pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

Ideal for a range of diets, including vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and keto, this stuff is safe for everyone in the family to feast on this holiday season.

If you need a maple syrup with more flavor for use in desserts or savory dishes, we would suggest exploring some of the many darker alternatives above and below.

Made by a family-run company in business since the late 1960s, you can buy with complete confidence and the knowledge you’ll have an ample supply of light and delicate maple syrup for the festive period.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Light and delicate
  • Ideal for drizzling over ice cream
  • Works well with waffles
  • Some reports of damaged packages

6. Runamok Maple Syrup

Runamok-Maple,-Organic-Vermont-Maple-Syrup

Features

  • Style: Pantry Favorites Selection
  • Size: 4 x 2oz
  • Dimensions: 7.17 x 6.42 x 2.13 inches

Runamok is one of the most reputable names in this space, so how does this maple syrup shape up?

This is the pairing collection, so allows you to sample a variety of different syrups in one neat presentation box. If you can resist the urge to keep it for yourself, this would make a fantastic gift idea for the looming holiday season.

The Pantry Favorites selection includes the following syrups:

  • Ginger root-infused
  • Sugarmaker’s cut
  • Bourbon barrel-aged
  • Cinnamon and vanilla-infused

With these in hand, you should perfectly placed to reorder larger bottles of your favorite, saving you from a potentially costly mistake.

This is certainly not the cheapest maple syrup out there, but it’s among the very best.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Choice of syrups in one package
  • Great gift idea
  • Impeccable brand image
  • Not cheap

7. Aliments Tristan Organic Canadian Maple Syrup

Pure,-Organic-Canadian-Maple-Syrup,-All-Natural

Features

  • Style: Grade A (Amber Rich)
  • Size: 3.4oz
  • Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 7.3 inches

Canada is the home of maple syrup and Aliments Tristan produces some versatile grade A stuff that’s made from organic Canadian maple trees.

You should note off the bat that this is a very small bottle, especially considering the aggressive price point.

Once you pour this syrup over your waffles or pancakes, though, you’ll be glad you prioritized quality over price.

Vegan-friendly and also kosher, this is one of the best maple syrups you’ll find, with a rich amber color to make a visual statement on top of your favorite breakfast dishes.

You benefit from a glass bottle here, but with the inbuilt bonus of a resealable lid, allowing you to keep your maple syrup fresher for longer – what’s not to love?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Perfect for a variety of applications
  • Resealable bottle
  • Made in Canada
  • Returns policy is weak

8. Runamok Maple Sugarmaker’s Cut Maple Syrup

Runamok-Maple-Sugarmaker's-Cut-Traditional-Grade-A-Maple-Syrup

Features

  • Style: Grade A (Amber Color 7 Rich Taste)
  • Size: 12.7oz
  • Dimensions: 1.77 x 3.54 x 7.48 inches

Another entry from the Runamok stable, this time with a 12.7oz bottle of their premium Sugarmaker’s Cut maple syrup. How does this syrup gets its name, then?

Well, the best of each batch is tasted and taken aside, reserved for this special collection.

You get a deep, rich, yet subtle maple syrup here, packaged in a glass bottle.

All the maple syrups from this brand are sustainably produced, too, so you can buy with a clear conscience.

Completely organic, you get no additives or preservatives, and an all-natural burst of flavor on your tongue. What’s not to love?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Eco-conscious option
  • Premium syrup
  • Made on Vermont family farms
  • Taste smoky

9. Maple Grove Farms Organic Maple Syrup

Maple-Grove-Farms-Organic-Pure-Maple-Syrup

Features

  • Style: Grade A (Organic Amber Color)
  • Size: 9.77oz
  • Dimensions: 1.55 x 3.25 x 7.05 inches

As we near the end of our showcase of the best maple syrups, an organic offering from Maple Grove Farms.

This company has been in business for almost 90 years bringing consumers all over the world the best maple syrup out there.

You’ll find none of the corn syrup that blights some cheaper and poorer quality maple syrups, and there is neither cholesterol nor sodium in this stuff. Maple Grove Farms strives to deliver everything you need and nothing you don’t in a maple syrup.

We found no complaints about this maple syrup, but a few niggles about quality control issues, so check your package closely upon arrival.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Almost a century of brand heritage
  • No sodium or cholesterol
  • Doesn’t contain corn syrup
  • Quality control concerns flagged

10. Maple Guild Maple Syrup

Maple-Guild-Organic-Bourbon-Barrel-Aged-Vermont-Syrup

Features

  • Style: Bourbon barrel-aged
  • Size: 12.7oz
  • Dimensions: 3.5 x 3 x 7 inches

We have time for a few more maple syrups before we round out today, including another bourbon barrel-aged offering from Maple Guild.

If you are a whiskey lover salivating at the thought of desserts dripping with the taste of bourbon, you should rethink that. The aging in bourbon barrels imparts a richness and just a hint of bourbon, but this is not especially noticeable.

That said, you’ll be impressed by both the richness and the smoothness of the flavor, and the consistency of this syrup is also highly versatile for all your cooking needs.

Recommended for drizzling on your waffles or pancakes, let us know what you think if you invest in this great syrup from Maple Guild.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Aged for 2 months in bourbon barrels
  • Rich and smooth flavor
  • Ideal for waffles
  • Only a faint taste of bourbon

11. Kirkland Signature Maple Syrup

Kirkland-Signature-100%-Maple-Syrup

Features

  • Style: Grade A (Dark Amber)
  • Size: 33.8oz
  • Dimensions: 9.45 x 6.3 x 4.72 inches

Kirkland’s Signature maple syrup is a deep and dark amber offering that makes a great choice for both drizzling over food or for use in sauces and vinaigrettes. Try cooking with this stuff, too, and you’ll be delighted with the results.

If you find shopping for maple syrup a minefield of additives, preservatives, and flavorings, you can rest assured that this stuff is certified organic and contains no cheap fillers or artificial ingredients.

Despite the dark amber color of this syrup, we found some scattered complaints about the reasonably light flavor. Do your own due diligence here.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Completely pure
  • AQI certified organic
  • Generous bottle
  • Fairly weak flavor

12. Coombs Family Farms Maple Syrup

Coombs-Family-Farms-Maple-Syrup

Features

  • Style: Grade A (Dark Color & Robust Taste)
  • Size: 32oz
  • Dimensions: 9.33 x 4.41 x 4.37 inches

As the name of this brand makes clear, Coombs Family Farms produces maple syrup from a family-owned and family-operated outfit active for the past seven generations.

The Grade A Dark Color & Robust Taste means this stuff is flexible enough to use in a wide variety of cooking applications, so imagination is your only limitation.

All-natural, this syrup is non-GMO and also kosher, so you can safely smear it over your guest’s waffles, even if they follow special diets.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Family-run enterprise
  • Non-GMO and kosher
  • 100% organic
  • Quite watery consistency

13. Log Cabin Original Pancake Syrup

Log-Cabin-Original-Pancake-Syrup,-12-Fl-Oz

Features

  • Style: Original pancake syrup
  • Size: 12oz
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 3 x 1.6 inches

This original pancake syrup from Log Cabin might not be graded maple syrup, but it makes a superb substitute.

The plastic squeezable bottle makes it super-simple to layer this stuff on top of waffles and pancakes, and also ensures you can get every last drop out of the bottle.

Some high-grade maple syrups have such a strong taste that it polarized opinion, but this milder and less pronounced flavor profile has almost universal appeal.

There are no artificial flavors among the ingredients. Crucially, there is no fructose-rich corn syrup either, giving you a flexible and pocket-friendly alternative to the best maple syrup.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Great for toast and pancakes
  • Flavor appeals to most
  • Convenient squeezable bottle
  • Quite costly

II. FAQs

1) How is the best maple syrup made?

Maple syrup is an intensive product to make. It requires a full 40 gallons of sap from the maple tree to produce just 1 gallon of maple syrup. Bear that in mind the next time you complain about the price of this stuff. More than 50% of the maple syrup produced in the United States comes from Vermont. The process of making maple syrup kicks off in the sugaring season. This is the month to six weeks of freezing weather leading into spring. Firstly, producers drill a hole into the maple tree and the slide in a spout. This serves to guide the maple sap out and into a bucket or some form of tubing system. This sap is then channeled into a collection tank. A vacuum pump streamlines this part of the process. Here, the sap is sometimes filtered with a reverse osmosis machine. This removes any water before the mixture is boiled. When the temperature hits 219F, the syrup is removed from the heat and filtered. Next, it is adjusted for density then graded for color and flavor.

2) Is maple syrup a vegan-friendly choice?

As long as you find maple syrup that’s 100% pure and contains no additives, it is a plant-based product. Many commercial additives contain ingredients that are not vegan-friendly, though, so the only thing you can do is closely check the ingredients of any maple syrups on your list if you need them to be vegan-friendly.

3) What is the shelf-life of maple syrup?

As long as it is unopened, maple syrup remains shelf-stable. This presumes you keep it in a dry place at or below room temperature. You might find both the color and flavor start to degrade after a couple of years, though. Glass bottles are best in terms of storage. Plastic bottles of maple syrup should be discarded after 18 months, tins of maple syrup discarded after 6 months. Once you open your maple syrup, keep it refrigerated. You can store it in the fridge for several months, in line with the use-by date, of course.


III. Conclusion

While you might first imagine that all maple syrups are created equal, you can now see there is quite a variety when it comes to both color and flavor.

And, aside from these main attributes, all you really need to do when looking for your go-to maple syrup is to experiment. All that counts is finding the right degree of intensity for the culinary uses you have in mind.

Before heading off today, we’d suggest bookmarking Madiba. As we push into fall and the holiday season is already looming, we are here to bring you more content than ever before, covering all aspects of the home kitchen and much, much more. We’ll see you soon!

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