Effective January 1, 2015 there has been an international alignment of maple grading. Until now, Vermont's grades of maple syrup had differed from New York, Maine, Canada and other regions. This created confusion in the marketplace. The new grades provide better descriptions with a colour and flavour descriptor which will help consumers pinpoint the exact syrup they want to purchase.
NEW Grades OLD Grades
Golden Delicate = Grade A: Fancy
Amber Rich = Grade A: Medium Amber
Grade A: Dark Amber (lighter versions of this grade)
Dark Robust = Grade A: Dark Amber (darker versions of this grade)
Now only three grades cover the spectrum of the previous four grades (Golden Delicate, Amber Rich, Dark Robust), all are Grade A, and each is much simpler to understand with a colour and flavour descriptor.
I for one, as a Canadian who moved to Vermont 20 years ago, wholeheartedly support this new grading alignment. I was thoroughly confused that first day I entered the Vasseur sugarhouse (with my three small kids) and Spike told me to try his Fancy syrup! Fancy syrup? What's that? As a Canadian, where 80% of the world production of syrup comes from, I had never heard of Fancy!
Good old Spike Vasseur: