I'm not sure why I was thinking the syrup would be clear and thin, similar to agave, but it's quite dark and somewhat thicker than I assumed. It looks very much like chocolate syrup or balsamic reduction.
The flavor is super sweet, but it's distinctly different than most sweeteners. To me, it's not a completely neutral flavor. It really tastes like dates. So it's fruity in that sense. But it's also a "dark" sweetness, more similar to molasses in a way than plain old sugar or something like Karo. Neither Sonia nor I particularly like molasses, but we both like this. It's like...what we always wished molasses would taste like...if that makes sense.
It worked great as a sweetener in our smoothies. We've been putting a bit of honey in them as of late, but this functions pretty much in the same manner. There is that deep, dark, almost caramel-like flavor to the date syrup, so it enhances the taste of the fruits and juices even more.
I won't say it's a replacement for good old maple syrup. I don't think there's anything you could put on a pancake or waffle that's hands down better than real maple. But if you wanna mix things up a little, this stuff sure isn't bad in that regard. The pic up above is Trader Joe's Organic Date Syrup on a piece of French toast. It was pretty tasty. Not better than maple syrup. Just different. I'm always down for a bit of novelty, but I think I'll return to the old standby for my next stack of flapjacks.