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Whiskey-barrel aging has been all the rage in the craft beer world for a few years now, so it’s no surprise that this technique has begun to seep into other corners of the artisan food space as well. In particular, I’m starting to see quite a few barrel-aged maple syrups on the market, to the point that it isn’t even that unique anymore. Still, pure maple syrup – not the stuff that comes in a plastic bottle shaped like a woman – is one of nature’s great gifts, so anything that might make it even more decadent is worthy of a try.

I recently picked up a bottle of Langdon Wood at Mom’s Organic Market. I had seen a few around and had been meaning to give one a try, and this one had a few things going for it:

  1. Pennsylvania maple syrup (my state)
  2. About half the price of the one Wegman’s carries – smaller, yes, (8oz vs 12oz) but since I wasn’t sure how much more I would like it than my normal grade A dark amber, I decided to be cost-conscious.

The syrup is from Millroy Farms in western PA, and the wood is rye barrels from Cactoctin Creek Distilling Company, which is located in VA wine country near where Langdon founder Art Drauglis lives.

As for the flavor, there’s that expected maple sweetness up front, followed by a lingering, warm bite of dryness from the rye on the finish. Truth be told, I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, and though the flavor profile is appealing in limited doses, I am not sure I appreciate the nuances as a connoisseur might. That said, I did enjoy the added complexity here, as well as the verve it injected to the conversation at Sunday Brunch (no booze needed).

As for Langdon’s smoked maple syrup – which I discovered on their website when researching this piece – now there’s something I need to get my hands on, pronto.

Here are a few other barrel-aged syrup options, available via Amazon: