Honey Flavor Wheel

I’ve been poking around the internet looking for a honey flavor wheel. There seems to be just one, but it’s from a good source: the International Honey Commission. Their “aroma wheel” is published as part of a 2004 article in the journal Apidologie, available as a free PDF (download it by clicking on the PDF on the right under the abstract):

Sensory analysis applied to honey: state of the art

This is an interesting if technical read, and goes into great detail about the application of modern tasting techniques to honey. A lot of work and experimentation went into the creation of their aroma wheel. The article stresses that sensory analysis by actual humans must accompany laboratory testing of honeys, since “small quantities of a highly aromatic honey (that are usually hardly detected in blends by common laboratory analysis) can considerably alter the organoleptic characteristics of a unifloral honey”.

Looking at the wheel, certain words stick out for me:

  • “Cat Urine” – I have smelled this in Buckwheat honey. But I like it anyway.
  • “Molasses” – a honey found for me by my friend Tizzy when she was in Belize tastes like this.
  • “Leafy Wood” – this brings to mind the wonderful Silver Sage honey I recently obtained from Cougar Canyon Apiaries.

I plan to use this wheel to become a better taster. Does anybody know a professional taster in Seattle who would like to taste honeys with me?

The International Honey Commission’s website consists of one informational page:

International Honey Commission

The journal Apidologie:


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