What is blackburn made syrup?

Blackburn’s is a classic maple flavored syrup that has been produced in Vermont since the 1920’s. It has a rich maple taste that is quintessential New England. Blackburn’s syrup is made from maple sap collected directly from maple trees in Vermont. The sap is then boiled down to make pure maple syrup. Blackburn’s uses a unique boiling process that caramelizes the natural maple sugars, giving it a deeper maple flavor. Let’s take a closer look at how Blackburn’s syrup is made and what makes it so delicious.

Where Does Blackburn’s Syrup Come From?

Blackburn’s syrup is made by the Blackburn Syrup Company based in St. Albans, Vermont. The company was founded by John Blackburn in the 1920’s and is still family owned and operated today. Blackburn’s produces only 100% pure maple syrup from maple sap collected in Vermont. The sap is sourced from maple farms in Franklin County which is known for having the ideal climate and soil for maple syrup production. The Blackburn family has long standing relationships with local maple farmers in the area to obtain the highest quality sap for their syrup.

Maple Syrup Production in Vermont

Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States. The climate and soil conditions in Vermont allow for abundant growth of sugar maple trees which are tapped for their sap. Maple syrup production is a long standing tradition in Vermont dating back centuries. Native Americans were the first to discover maple sugaring and early settlers adopted the practice. Maple sugaring typically takes place in early spring when temperatures cause pressure differences within the tree forcing sap to flow out of taps. The maple sap has a high water content so it takes roughly 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup. Vermont maple farmers use techniques like vacuum tubing to efficiently gather sap from maple trees during the short sugaring season.

How Blackburn’s Syrup is Made

Blackburn’s uses traditional maple sugaring techniques that have been passed down for generations in Vermont. Here are the key steps in how their maple syrup is made:

1. Tapping Maple Trees

During maple sugaring season, holes are drilled into maple trees and taps are inserted. This allows the watery sap within the maple tree to flow out through the spouts. Blackburn’s partners with local maple farms to tap thousands of maple trees by hand. No pumps or tubing are used so the sap is collected directly from the tree completely untouched.

2. Collecting the Sap

The maple sap drips out of the taps into buckets or containers. Since the flow of sap is influenced by temperature and pressure changes, the sap must be collected daily. The clear maple sap looks and tastes like water with just a hint of sweetness. The sap is transported from the maple farms to the Blackburn’s sugarhouse facility.

3. Boiling the Sap

Once at the sugarhouse, the maple sap is filtered and then boiled. Blackburn’s uses a reverse osmosis machine to remove some of the water content before boiling to make the process more efficient. The sap is boiled in a large evaporator that brings the liquid to temperatures above the boiling point of water. As it boils, water evaporates away slowly transforming the sap into thick, sugary syrup. Blackburn’s unique boiling process caramelizes the natural maple sugars resulting in a richer maple flavor.

4. Filtering and Grading

After boiling, the maple syrup is carefully filtered to remove any impurities or crystals. It is graded based on color and taste standards. Blackburn’s maple syrup is available in different grades ranging from light golden to dark amber. The darker grades have a more pronounced maple flavor since they are produced later in the sugaring season.

5. Bottling and Packaging

Once filtered and graded, the maple syrup is bottled hot to seal in freshness and flavor. Blackburn’s uses glass jugs and bottles with classic maple leaf labeling. Syrup not bottled for retail is stored in stainless steel drums. Strict quality control measures are taken throughout the entire maple syrup production process at Blackburn’s sugarhouse.

What Makes Blackburn Syrup So Good?

Blackburn’s exceptional maple syrup flavor can be attributed to a few key factors:

  • High Quality Sap – Blackburn’s only uses sap straight from maple trees in Vermont. No pumps or tubing come in contact with the sap before boiling.
  • Traditional Production – Time-honored maple sugaring methods allow for small batch attention and focus on flavor.
  • Unique Boiling Process – Blackburn’s caramelizes the natural maple sugars with their boiling technique bringing out robust maple taste.
  • Grade A Standard – Blackburn’s syrup meets the highest grade standard with delicate maple flavor and light color.

In addition, Blackburn’s has generations of maple sugaring expertise. Their experience and maple knowledge combined with high standards for consistency allow them to produce syrup with superior maple flavor. Blackburn’s pours deliciously over pancakes and waffles, but also shines in recipes, cocktails, coffee and more.

Maple Syrup Grades and Classification

Maple syrup is classified into different grades based on light transmittance, color, and flavor. Here is an overview of the maple syrup grade scale:

Grade Light Transmittance Description
Grade A Golden, Delicate Taste 75% or more Very light golden color, delicate maple flavor
Grade A Amber, Rich Taste 50-74% Light amber color, mild maple flavor
Grade A Dark, Robust Taste 25-49% Dark amber color, strong maple flavor
Grade A Very Dark, Strong Taste 25% or less Very dark color, robust maple flavor

Blackburn’s syrup is available in Grade A Dark Amber with a rich maple taste. The darker color and flavor comes from caramelizing the maple sugars longer during the boiling process.

The Different Types of Maple Syrup

Maple syrup can also be categorized into types based on when in the sugaring season it was produced:

  • Fancy – Made earliest in the season with light color and delicate flavor.
  • Grade A Medium Amber – Made mid-season with classic maple flavor.
  • Grade A Dark Amber – Made late in season with very dark color and robust maple taste.
  • Commercial or Grade B – Made at the end of season, used commercially not sold retail.

Blackburn’s Grade A Dark Amber syrup is produced late in the maple season when sap flows slower with higher sugar content. This results in a darker syrup with a more pronounced maple character.

How To Use Blackburn’s Syrup

Blackburn’s rich Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup is extremely versatile in cooking and baking. Here are some tips for using it:

  • Serve it directly over pancakes and waffles in the traditional style.
  • Sweeten up oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese by drizzling it on top.
  • Maple syrup can replace granulated sugar in baked goods like cookies, cakes, and muffins.
  • Whisk it into vinaigrettes, marinades, and glazes for salads, chicken, fish, and vegetables.
  • Add it to smoothes, milkshakes, or fresh fruit compotes.
  • Use it to sweeten tea, coffee, or milk beverages like lattes and hot chocolate.
  • Brush on pork, salmon, shrimp or tofu before broiling or grilling.
  • Stir it into oatmeal, quinoa or rice pudding for added flavor.
  • Mix with pureed fruit to make homemade maple fruit spreads.

With its robust maple taste, Blackburn’s syrup stands up well in cooking without getting lost. The darker color tints foods with a nice golden maple hue. Keep some on hand to elevate everyday foods with quintessential Vermont maple flavor.

Health Benefits of Maple Syrup

Maple syrup contains beneficial nutrients and compounds that may boost health in several ways:

Rich in Antioxidants

Maple syrup contains over 24 different antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants help protect cells from damage and lower inflammation. The darker Grade A syrups contain more antioxidants than lighter syrups.

Source of Manganese and Zinc

Maple syrup provides significant amounts of the trace minerals manganese and zinc which support metabolism, immune function, and wound healing.

Low Glycemic Sweetener

Unlike sugar, maple syrup does not cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. The presence of compounds like polyphenols slows the rate of carbohydrate absorption.

Prebiotic Effects

Maple syrup contains oligosaccharides that may promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria as a prebiotic. More research is still needed.

Keep in mind that maple syrup still has a high sugar content despite these benefits. It is best consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

Buying and Storing Blackburn’s Syrup

Blackburn’s syrup can be purchased directly online through their website or at select grocery stores in New England. It is produced in limited batches so sellouts do occur. Here are some tips for buying and storing their maple syrup:

  • Look for the Blackburn’s logo featuring a classic 8-tap maple tree when buying pure Vermont maple syrup.
  • Only buy Grade A Dark Amber for the robust maple flavor the brand is known for.
  • Check the packaging for a production date and “Packed On” date for freshness.
  • Unopened bottles can be stored in a cool, dark place like a pantry for up to 2 years.
  • Once opened, keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
  • If crystals form, simply warm up the syrup gently before using.
  • For freshest flavor, try to use within a couple months once opened.

With proper storage techniques, Blackburn’s maple syrup will retain its signature bold maple flavor and quality through multiple seasons of enjoyment.

Maple Syrup Production Facts and Figures

Here are some interesting facts about maple syrup production in the United States and Canada:

  • Canada produces around 72% of the world’s maple syrup supply with Quebec being the largest producing province.
  • Vermont is the top maple syrup producing state in the U.S. generating about 1.4 million gallons annually.
  • It takes approximately 40 gallons of maple sap to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup.
  • The maple tapping season typically runs from early February through April depending on location.
  • The sap flow is influenced by freezing night temperatures followed by above-freezing days.
  • Native Americans were the first to tap maple trees and boil sap into syrup and sugar.
  • It takes roughly 50 years for a maple tree to grow large enough to tap for maple sap collection.
  • Maple syrup production methods have become more efficient but are still based on traditional practices.

Maple sugaring has a long history and important cultural significance in North America. While provincial Quebec leads in production, Vermont maple farmers like Blackburn’s continue generations-old traditions of creating exceptional maple syrup.

The History of Maple Syrup

The history of maple sugaring dates back centuries:

Pre-Colonial Era

Native Americans were the first to tap maple trees for sap and boil the sap down to make syrup and sugar. They used slash and burn methods to purposely create areas favorable for maple growth. Maple syrup was a traditional food and also used as trade currency.

Colonial Period

European settlers adopted Native American maple sugaring methods in the early 1600s. As settlers moved west, tapping maple trees provided a vital source of sugar before widespread farming and cane sugar production. Maple products were soon being exported back to Europe.

Maple Commerce Begins

In the late 1700s, the first maple sugar canes were created by boiling maple sap in copper kettles and pouring it into hand carved wooden molds. Starting in the 1800s, producers started marketing and branding maple syrup in tin cans.

Maple Syrup Technology Advances

During the 19th and 20th centuries, technology helped advance maple syrup production. Metal sap collection buckets, evaporators, and reverse osmosis machines increased efficiency and volume.Tractor-mounted tubing systems were later introduced for large operations.

Maple Syrup Today

While new technologies exist, many smaller producers like Blackburn’s in Vermont continue using traditional maple sugaring methods. Maple syrup production is now a major industry in Northeastern North America driven by demand for this iconic condiment.

Common Questions About Blackburn’s Syrup

Is Blackburn’s syrup only sold in Vermont?

Blackburn’s syrup is sold throughout most of New England, but Vermont is where you’ll find it most readily available. Blackburn’s is a smaller producer that makes authentic maple syrup in limited batches. The brand has a cult following in its home state of Vermont.

Is Blackburn’s Organic certified?

No, Blackburn’s syrup is not certified organic. However, they use traditional production methods and only source sap from maple trees without any chemicals or tubing systems. Their syrup would meet organic standards, but the company has not pursued formal certification.

Is Blackburn’s syrup kosher?

Yes, Blackburn’s pure maple syrup is considered kosher. It is natural sap boiled directly into syrup without any additional ingredients. As a non-processed food from trees, maple syrup meets kosher dietary guidelines.

Where are Blackburn’s maple trees tapped?

Blackburn’s obtains all of its maple sap from maple farms located in Franklin County in northwestern Vermont. This area has ideal soil and climate conditions for growing sugar maple trees used for syrup production.

Does Blackburn’s syrup ever go on sale?

Because of the small batch artisanal nature of their syrup, Blackburn’s does not really offer sales or discounts. Their syrup is already priced competitively for the high quality. The best way to save on Blackburn’s syrup is to buy it directly from their website which offers bulk pricing.


Blackburn’s is a classic Vermont maple syrup produced from sap straight from maple trees around Franklin County. It offers an unrivaled pure maple flavor thanks to traditional sugaring methods passed down through generations. The family-owned Blackburn’s Syrup Company truly crafts liquid gold for pancakes, baking, and beyond. Next time you’re in New England or ordering maple syrup online, be sure to get your hands on a bottle of Blackburn’s sweet and sticky amber nectar.

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