I have been using grade A dark amber maple syrup for years. I recently finally found a bottle of Grade B at whole earth foods. About 7+ for 12 ozs. I did a side by side taste test with grade A. Grade B definitely has more flavor and seems to be a little thinner. I put some of both in a small tin and put them in a sauce pan with a little water to heat them up. I generally use maple syrup for pancakes at room temp. I suspect that a syrup for pancakes should be warm or hot. The grade B won out in this warm hot test. It is hard to describe it except to say that it is definitely less refined. Perhaps that is why it doesn't sell like Grade A.
I also tested two syrups that are the only ones I buy at the market. Bosenberry and Log Cabin (addicted to this brand for some reason). Neither of these passed the warm hot test.
So, my thoughts are keep a bottle around of grade A or grade B for the few recipes that call for maple syrup and look for something else. I remember when I was little that we (didn't have many things to work with then) used a simple brown sugar syrup warmed up. I think I am going to pursue this as pancakes don't really require much. Also, I remember once in a while we had a white syrup over hot biscuits with butter. Almost like white karo syrup but I suspect not that. I think I will pursue this also.
Any thoughts on what works best? Thanks