There are lots of factors that affect the flavor of maple syrup produced each day including the weather, the calendar date (since the trees bud on about the same week every year), and the land on which the trees are growing, what is known as the terroir. We boil sap from the same stand of maple trees but the weather changes throughout the season.
Our syrup produced at the beginning of the season was a nice Amber color but had only a delicate maple flavor. By Friday the 13th of March, the syrup had a richer maple flavor. The temperature was too cold from March 10th-12th for the sap to run. Often this will increase the sugar content of sap and make for a more distinct maple flavor. These samples are to the left end in the photo. We have bottled this batch and named it “SOE (State of Emergency) Amber”.
Our big sap run started on March 26th and lasted through April 9th. The sap ran every day and for the first few days, the sap got sweeter and our syrup got lighter in color and more delicate in flavor. The taller sample bottle in the middle of the photo represents this. As we eased into April, the syrup started to take on a richer maple flavor. We bottled the April Fools run.
The first full week in April, the sap had a lower sugar content, possibly due to the length of the sap run; remember, trees will only give you the sweet sap that they can spare. The daytime temperatures got progressively warmer so the syrup made was darker and more robust in flavor. The end of our season is represented by the samples on the right end of the board in the photo. We have bottled the first dark batch and named it “Isolation Dark”.
We hope to be able to get together with you later on to have a tasting and share some of our favorite batches. Until then, stay home and eat maple syrup!
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