Our Favorite Maple Syrups
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Jed’s Maple Products (Vermont)
Vermont Grade B Sugaring may have started out as a hobby for Vermonters Amy and Steve Wheeler, but over the last decade it has become their full time business, and a way of life. All of Jed’s syrups (named after their son) are delicious, but we especially liked their Vermont Grade B, which has the smokiness of a campfire and the indulgent sweetness of a s’more. Try it in the family’s recipe for maple pumpkin bread.
Vermont Fancy Grade The Robb Family Farm near Brattleboro, Vermont is a fifth-generation dairy farm. But for a few weeks each spring, when the snow begins to melt and sugaring season starts, they switch into full force maple mode. We loved their Vermont Fancy syrup, which was toasty with notes of milky coffee, and would add depth to butter cream frosting and a kick of sweetness to fresh or broiled grapefruit. Back to Maple Syrup: Tasting Notes »
Ben’s Sugar Shack (New Hampshire)
Grade A Dark Amber One trip to a nearby sugar house when he was five years old was all it took to hook Ben Fisk on maple for life. At age 15 he won a trophy for producing the “best syrup in New Hampshire,” and today–still in his early 20s–his business continues to improve and expand. We love Ben’s devotion to maple and his entrepreneurial spirit. We also love his Dark Amber syrup, with its golden sugar and vanilla flavors that blend perfectly into baked goods–like his recipe for maple whoopie pies.
Shaver-Hill Maple Farm (New York)
Grade: Medium Amber The Shaver family started making syrup in Delaware County back in 1912, and current owners, Dennis and Barbara Hill, decided to keep the tradition running when they bought the farm in 1984. It’s a good thing they did, because their Medium Amber syrup is remarkably delicious. With hints of smoke and anise, it would blend perfectly in a marinade for chicken or salmon.
Wolcott Maple (New York)
Grade A Medium Amber Douglass and Charlotte Wolcott operate 8,000 taps across 100 acres of maple trees in Dale, New York (about an hour east of Buffalo) to produce Wolcott Maple’s syrups. We loved the clove and toasted sugar taste of their Medium Amber syrup, and immediately started dreaming of the spicy-sweet flavor it would add to maple-glazed carrots.
Maine Maple Products (Maine)
Grade: Extra Dark Amber Maine Maple Products is the state’s largest maple syrup producer, tapping a grove of more than 43,000 trees in Madison (about 90 miles north of Portland). Their certified organic, Extra Dark Amber syrup is deeply flavorful, with hints of rye, orange peel and caramel that would stand out in slow-simmered dishes like baked beans or chili.
Harwood Heritage Gold (Michigan)
Grade A Light Charlevoix, Michigan is known for its picturesque beaches (the city borders three different lakes), swelling summer population, and the maple syrup from Harwood Heritage Gold. Produced there by the Parsons family since 1898, their syrups are nothing short of a community institution. We were particularly charmed by the Light syrup–its fresh, honeysuckle flavor and hint of cinnamon would perfectly complement vanilla ice cream. (Try drizzling it over a Parsons Ice Cream Sundae.)
Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup (Wisconsin)
Grade A Dark Amber In 2009, 81-year old, Norman Anderson, was inducted into the American Maple Museum’s “Maple Hall of Fame,” honoring his lifetime of sugaring in northwest Wisconsin. Today the Anderson family keeps the sugaring tradition alive and well. They produce a bevy of maple products, including a Dark Amber syrup with hints of caramel corn and burnt sugar, that would do any stack of pancakes proud.
Acadian Maple Products (Nova Scotia)
Grade: No 1. Medium What started out as hands-on nature lesson for the kids grew into a thriving business for the Allaway family. Nearly three decades later, Acadian Maple Products pumps out 6,500 gallons of Nova Scotia maple syrup a year–some of which, in 1995, was bottled and presented to dignitaries participating in the G7 Summit in Halifax. If these world leaders tried the family’s No. 1 Medium syrup, they likely found what we did: a toasty, cinnamon flavor that would add delicious depth to baked apples.
Briggs Maples (New Brunswick)
Grade: No. 1 Medium Briggs Maples got its start by selling the sweet stuff in gin bottles with the family label slapped on the front. Five generations later, the Briggs family features their products in a New Brunswick-based shop that is equal parts store and museum, complete with vintage photographs and daily maple-making demonstrations. Their No. 1 Medium syrup has delicate, grassy notes that would spice up any vinaigrette.
Stephenson Maple Farm (New Brunswick)
Grade: No. 1 Medium Three generations of experience go into each bottle of maple syrup from Stephenson Maple Farms. The New Brunswick family boils down a No. 1 Medium syrup that tastes like butter and toasted marshmallow–the perfect complement to silky, sweet desserts from bread pudding to maple mousse.
Forbes Wild Foods (Ontario)
Grade: No. 3 Dark Maple syrup is only one of the products made by this Ontario-based company that focuses on ingredients harvested from the Canadian wilderness. But while Forbes’ dried chanterelle mushrooms and cloudberry compote sound delicious, we were especially taken with their woodsy, clove-scented No. 3 Dark syrup, which would lend complex sweetness to pecan pie.
White Meadows Farms (Ontario)
Grade: No 1. Light This Ontario farm fills handmade chocolates with maple syrup cream and mixes their syrup into maple popcorn (they also grow the corn kernels). But we liked their straight-up syrups best. Their No. 1 Light is delicate and nutty with a sugary kick–the perfect ingredient to punch up a cocktail (like SAVEUR’s own Retox Cocktail).
White Meadows Farms (Ontario)
No 2. Amber Drizzle their spicy No. 2 Amber over yogurt and granola.