Absolutely true, Sue. Sugarmakers and everyone involved in the industry admit amoung themselves that the syrup being produced by plastic tubing is far inferior to the syrup of old, but this is not something they are eager for the public know. The reason for the degradation is that the sap heats up and begins to ferment on its long and slow journey to the sugarhouse. while the sap collected in buckets is kept cool. People using tubing are forced to use very strong and toxic chemicals to control the mold in their lines, and this dead mold enters into the sap flow. The only advantage of using tubing is that it lowers the cost of production. The time will come when people will understand this, and will be happy to pay a premium for syrup made from sap collected in buckets.
Vermont syrup is the world standard, everybody knows this, Vermont grade A Fancy is the top of the line , lightest and most flavorful, and every Vermont sugarmaker knows this. The biggest joke around is for foreiners to come looking for the dark stuff because it's " less refined and more flavorfull. " It's dark because it's full of debris and dead stuff, and the strong flavor is what is known as buddiness, which comes at the end of the season when the maple flavor is gone.