Vermont Maple Syrup is graded each year for color and taste. The grades are established by the
State Of Vermont and are currently defined as follws here. Each grade has distinct
qualities and uses. Try each one and choose your favorite!

1) The following grades are hereby established as the official grade A maple syrup grade standards for the state of Vermont:

a. ” Golden Color / Delicate Taste” means pure maple syrup which is free of any material other than pure, clear, clean liquid maple syrup in sanitary condition; which has a color no darker than the United States Department of Agriculture’s visual color standard  Golden Color, or has a color for light transmittance not less than 75.0%Tc; which has a delicately sweet, original maple flavor characteristic; and which has a density ranging from the equivalent of 36 degrees Baume (66.9 degrees Brix) to 37 degrees Baume (68.9 degrees Brix) at 60 degrees Fahrenheit Modulus 145.  Golden Color / Delicate Taste maple syrup shall be free of sugar crystals and shall not be damaged in any way;

b. ” Amber Color / Rich Taste” means pure maple syrup which is free of any material other than pure, clear, clean liquid maple syrup in sanitary condition; which has a color no darker than the U.S. Department of Agriculture visual standard,  Amber Color, or has a color for light transmittance between the range of 74.9%Tc to  50%Tc; it may have a flavor which is more pronounced than that of  Golden Color / Delicate Taste, but which is not strong or unpleasant .  Amber Color / Rich Taste maple syrup shall be free of sugar crystals and shall not be damaged in any way;

c. ” Dark Color / Robust Taste” means pure maple syrup which is free of any material other than pure, clear, clean liquid maple syrup in sanitary condition; which has a color no darker than the United States Department of Agriculture visual standard  Dark Color, or has a color for light transmittance between the range of  49.9% Tc to 25% Tc; it may have a flavor which is stronger than that of Amber Color / Rich Taste, but which is not sharp, bitter, buddy or off-flavor r.  Dark Color / Robust Taste  shall be free of sugar crystals and shall not be damaged in any way;

d. ” Very Dark Color / Strong Taste” means pure maple syrup which is free of any material other than pure, clean, clear liquid maple syrup in sanitary condition; which has a color for light transmittance  less than 25% Tc. (The United States Department of Agriculture does not have an approved visual glass comparetor which compares to the light transmittance of this grade.   Very Dark Color / Strong Taste  may have a flavor stronger than  Dark Color / Robust Taste, but shall not be damaged in any way and  shall be free of sugar crystals;

2. .  “Processing Grade” means pure maple syrup with objectionable odors or flavors and cannot be graded as grade A. Processing Grade shall not be placed in packaged maple syrup containers and may not be sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale as packaged maple syrup.

Purely for historical reference purposes. Here is the "old" grading system.

Vermont Fancy Grade - Pale amber in color, sweet and lighter in taste
Perfect for pancakes, waffles and eating with a spoon!
"A" Medium Amber - Genuine maple flavor with a richer color
Still best on breakfast but with a bit more maple flavor.
"A" Dark Amber - Stonger flavor for the for the real maple lover
All around best-light enough to eat, strong enough for cooking.
"B" - Very little of this stuff ever leaves home. For the maple fanatic!
Vermonters use it for everything, outside it is unheard of!