9 Maple Syrup Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

While there are many things you can use to top your pancakes and waffles, we are partial to pure maple syrup, which is tapped from maple trees and then concentrated. While you could technically make your own if you had a maple tree, chances are you will want to pick yours up at the store instead. But maple syrup is not cheap, and you may need help picking out the right brand to spend your money on. That is where this ranking comes into play.

We gathered maple syrup from nine brands and, when available, we opted for a Grade A or medium. For many of them, the most widely available versions were darker, so that is what we tried. After trying each one alone and then with food, we graded the brands on the flavor, accessibility, and variety of syrups they sell. So read on to find out those that are worth your money and those that aren't.

9. Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Grade A Maple Syrup is from Canada and is certified as Kosher. Now, we're big fans of Trader Joe's and the brand's maple syrup has been a staple in our pantry through the years. However, it's only after we tried it against other brands that we found it to be lacking. While it was a pleasing amber color, the Trader Joe's Grade A Maple Syrup didn't have much aroma. We'd put it at a two out of five on a thickness scale. Taste alone, the syrup was bland and tasted more sugary than mapley. However, adding butter and a sweet waffle did help bring out the maple flavor.

The biggest reason to buy this syrup is its price. At a standard $4.49 for an 8-ounce bottle, you would be hard-pressed to find a cheaper option for real maple syrup. If you do go for this syrup, we don't suggest you use it for anything that requires it to be the star, such as making maple candy — it just doesn't have enough flavor.

8. Runamok

Did we fall for a gimmick? Maybe. But sparkly maple syrup? Come on. Who doesn't want to try that? While Runamok makes syrups ranging from pure to elderberry to strawberry-rose and everything in between, this COVID-era invention caught our eye. Unfortunately, while the Sparkle Syrup had a nice, medium thickness to it and the mica-based pigment brought a smile to our faces, it did not have the flavor to back up the $16.99 we paid. Oddly, it smelled a little spicy, which would have been fine, but it tasted like almost nothing but a bit of sugar.

That said, we're intrigued by the range of flavors and will probably get our hands on that strawberry-rose, hibiscus, or pecan-wood smoked syrup soon. Maybe we just don't learn our lessons.

Sparkle Syrup is made in Vermont. It is naturally gluten-free and vegan, and is Kosher certified.

7. Signature Select/O Organics

O Organics 100% pure maple syrup is made in Canada and is organic and certified Kosher. O Organics is a store brand that is sold in Safeway, Vons, and Albertson's stores around the country.

The syrup had a light amber color and a light maple scent that hit us as soon as we opened the bottle. We tried a spoon of the syrup before topping a waffle with it, and it had a sweet but light flavor that was lovely on its own as well as on a buttered waffle. The flavor profile was very subtle and added a light sweetness without being overpowering.

The best thing about this brand is its accessibility. It is also available in two sizes — 8.5 and 16.9 ounces — making it great for both small and large families. Still, of course, there are better brands, with more options, out there — some of them are even available at Safeway stores.

6. Thrive Market

Thrive Market's Organic Robust Maple Syrup, Grade A is made from trees grown in Vermont and is Kosher-certified. The syrup had a medium thickness, light brown color, and a light flavor that was delightful on its own, and paired perfectly with a frozen waffle. It had a pleasant maple smell that was light on the nose. 

This is a decent syrup that will get the job done, and we've got our eyes on a few of the other flavors as well. Besides the Organic Robust Maple Syrup, Grade A that we tried, Thrive sells a variety of infused syrups, such as cinnamon & vanilla bean, aged in bourbon barrels, Tart & Tangy blueberry, and warm pumpkin spice under its brand name.

The main reason we've ranked this syrup below Whole Foods is that it's not as accessible since you have to be a member of Thrive Market to purchase it. But if you are, it's not a bad one to grab.

5. 365 (Whole Foods)

Whole Foods sells maple syrup under the 365 and 365 Everyday Value brands. While the grocery chain doesn't sell flavored syrups, it does sell a variety of maple syrup, including Organic Grade A Dark, Organic Grade A Amber, and Organic Grade A Golden Maple Syrup.

The color of the Amber Maple Syrup that we tried was true to its advertising. Though it wasn't very thick — about a two on a scale of five — the syrup had a pleasant, light maple scent. While the primary taste was sugar, the syrup had a more maple aftertaste than some of the lower-ranked syrups on our list. It paired well with the frozen waffle.

365 amber maple syrup is USDA organic, Kosher, fat-free, and vegan. If you like maple sugar, this just might be a good option for you. But if you are seeking a thicker pour, we suggest a different brand.

4. Butternut Mountain Farm Maple Syrup Company

Here is where we start to get into the good stuff. Butternut Mountain Farm Maple Syrup Company makes several bottles in different sizes and shapes. Its syrups are all Grade A but vary from amber to dark and robust. You can even buy the syrup in bulk. On top of that, the brand sells infused maple syrups, including chai and maple pepper flavors. According to the company site, "Local farmers have been selling their maple syrup to the Marvin family of Butternut Mountain Farm for forty years." The company then processes and distributes it.

The Grade A: Dark Color Robust Taste that we tried had a rich maple smell with a deeper brown color. With a very sweet, rich taste and a medium thickness, this syrup was almost too intense for a waffle.

If you love the taste of maple, this is a syrup brand for you, but if you want something that is an excellent complement to your dishes, it's probably better to go with something else.

3. Coombs Family Farms

Coombs Family Farms sells organic maple syrup in bottles of many shapes and sizes. However, there are only two flavors available: Grade A Amber Color Rich Taste and Grade A Dark Color Robust Taste. 

We tried the syrup marketed as one with a robust taste. The deep, molasses aroma filled was a treat for the nose, while the flavor was rich and satisfying. The syrup wasn't very thick (two out of five in that department), but the dark amber color and rich taste made up for that. This maple syrup lent an exciting and complementary flavor to our waffles, and lovely when tasted on its own.

The syrup is non-GMO, USDA organic, and Kosher certified. According to the company site, Coombs Family Farms began as a family farm operation 150 years ago and has since grown into a 3,000 small-farm operation. 

2. Sapjack

Sapjack is made by the Sweet Tree holding company, a Vermont maple syrup company that touts itself as "the largest single-source maple producer in the world." Sapjack's bourbon aged maple syrup is just plain good. The syrup is aged in American oak bourbon barrels and the bourbon shines through in the smokey aroma and is delicious combined with the maple flavor. The syrup has a deep brown color and its medium thickness makes it an excellent waffle topping. Not only that, but this maple syrup would also make great maple spun sugar.

While not the easiest maple syrup brand to find, Sapjack can be spotted at Sprouts, Walmart, and sometimes, Grocery Outlet. It is available in two sizes, 8 and 12 ounces, and the cost ranges from $7.99 to $9.99. It is Kosher, USDA organic, and non-GMO. It is also gluten-free.

1. Shady Maple Farms

At the top of our list is Shady Maple Farms' 100% pure organic maple syrup. This grade-A syrup hails from Canada and claims to have a "robust taste" — and it delivers on that promise. It's sweet, but not too sweet, and has an earthy flavor that is delicious alone or with waffles. It is dark brown in color and has a deep maple scent. The consistency is a medium thickness, making it perfect for drizzling over pancakes. 

The syrup is USDA organic, non-GMO, and Kosher. The only caveat is that the one we bought came in a (BPA-free) pouch rather than a bottle. The advantage is supposed to be that it's drip-free; for whatever reason, it wasn't that appealing to us though.

Aside from its wonderful flavor and consistency, Shady Maple Farms maple syrup is widely available; we found it at almost every local grocery store and online retailer. All things considered, this maple syrup takes the top spot on our list.