"Henry Marckres is the maple specialist for the Vermont Department of Agriculture. He's tasted maple syrup almost every day for nearly 3 decades! He's judged contests around the country, sampled batches from sugarmakers from Highgate to Bennington, and he's the arbiter of quality for the state of Vermont.
He spent some time with VPR's Jane Lindholm and shared his thoughts on what distinguishes one jar of maple syrup from another."
I must say I can't tell a Putney from a Shelburne.
In some ways syrup in Vermont is like moonshine in the south. It's made in the woods, lots of boiling and steam involved. Stores carry it, but many people just get it "from a guy." Maybe a guy at work from the trunk of his car in the parking lot, or trek out to a sugar shack. I usually get it from my barber. My last fix came from a friend packed in a 5 pound sour cream container.