Pure maple syrup is sold by grades established by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. It is graded by color and flavor. The difference between grades is a matter of taste preference- not quality.
Grade A Light Amber
Is a very light, amber colored syrup with a mild, delicate taste. Generally used in maple candy or in cooking. This syrup is usually made earlier in the season, when the weather is cooler.
Grade A Medium Amber
is a medium amber colored syrup with a moderate, fuller maple flavor. It is in the middle of flavor between a light and dark amber. A popular grade of maple syrup for everyday use on pancakes and waffles. Medium Amber is made during the middle of the season, when temperatures are warmer.
Grade A Dark Amber
Is the darkest of the three Grade A classifications. This grade of syrup has the strongest maple flavor and is preferred use in baking. This syrup is made later in the season when the days get longer and warmer.
Grade B Dark
Is generally a very dark colored syrup and has a strong maple flavor. It is used for cooking or flavoring, and is made late in the season.