How is this syrup different from maple syrup made in Eastern Canada?
The maple syrup made in Eastern Canada comes from the sap of the tree known as the Sugar Maple. In contrast, Kleekhoot Gold syrup comes from the sap of the Bigleaf Maple. This species can only be found on the west coast of North America. The difference in species gives the syrup a flavour that is indescribably unique yet identifiably maple. Our syrup is produced using the same professional grade equipment as is used in Eastern Canada, with the same total sugar content. The end product contains a much greater mineral content than Eastern maple syrup, with over twice as much calcium and magnesium in the finished product.
Is harvesting maple syrup a sustainable practice?
Bigleaf maple is an incredibly resilient species – the tapholes that we drill in the syrup producing season heal shut within months. In fact, bigleaf maples can be cut down to a stump and will regrow from the root system alone! The trees remain unharmed from repeated seasons of tapping.
By using bigleaf maples for production of syrup, we are able to preserve them from being logged and replaced with conifers which are valued for their timber. This helps to conserve the unique ecosystem that develops around a forest dominated by bigleaf maple. The quickly-decomposing leaves help to create a rich soil in these ecosystems that support endangered species of plants and animals.
How do you decide where to tap?
Bigleaf maple trees must be of a sufficient size to be considered suitable for tapping. We select trees that are over 30 centimeters in diameter in order to reduce risk of damage and ensure good flows of sap. Areas that are rich in groundwater are additionally beneficial for sap production.
How much sap does it take to make a bottle of Kleekhoot Gold Bigleaf Maple Syrup?
It takes roughly three gallons of Bigleaf maple sap to make one 200mL bottle of syrup! We do not use any added sugars in our process – we only deliver the pure unadulterated sweetness that our trees provide. We condense the sap to the same 66% sugar content that other maple syrup producers use.
When is the season for Bigleaf Maple Syrup?
Any maple syrup production happens when the air temperatures return above the freezing point after a cold snap. Here in the Alberni Valley, this can happen anytime between December and March, with the bulk of production occurring in January and February. This is in contrast to the maple syrup made in Eastern Canada which is often not produced until late March or April.
What does the Bigleaf maple syrup taste like?
Our syrup has a very distinct flavour. While no words fully capture its unique taste, it is often compared to butterscotch toffee, vanilla bean, or honey. It still has the familiar maple flavour but offers an unparalleled culinary experience that must be tasted to be believed.
Does anybody else make Bigleaf Maple syrup?
Kleekhoot Gold is a pioneer in the British Columbia maple syrup industry – we are the very first commercial-scale producers of Bigleaf Maple syrup. Locally, there are many people who produce this product on a hobbyist scale, selling to friends and family, however we are the only ones that are currently using professional grade equipment. This makes our product truly incomparable to any other on the market.
Where can I buy some Kleekhoot Gold Bigleaf Maple Syrup?
Please visit our “Where to buy” page to find a list of retailers. Sign up for our seasonal newsletter to be informed of when our production season starts and when retail opportunities open.