By Richard Thomas
Maple syrup and Bourbon are so intertwined nowadays that there are maple-flavored whiskeys made from Bourbon and maple syrups aged in Bourbon barrels. Most often the latter are either made by the Bourbon brand, either in-house or under license.
The Maple Guild has gone the other way, and it’s not surprising given how much effort they are already putting into making the base maple syrup. If I were them, I certainly wouldn’t do what I do, hand my syrup over and let them make the product. They have been called “big maple” up in New England, and they certainly are the biggest presence in organic, steam-produced syrup.
Some maple syrups are almost boozy for the barrel aging, but not this one. First and foremost, it’s a rich, medium-textured maple syrup. While not the best I’ve ever had, the base syrup here is very good. The Bourbon side adds a light note of vanilla and a certain nuttiness to that core maple sweet flavor, making this an example of what I think a Bourbon barrel maple syrup ought to be: first and foremost, maple syrup with Bourbon notes and not Bourbon-flavored maple syrup.
Expect to pay $17 for a 375 ml bottle and $27.99 for a 750 ml bottle. When you consider a quart (about 960 ml) of organic maple syrup at the supermarket will run you about $22 to $25, this stuff is a pretty good buy for the extras it gives.