A noticeable level of an earthy note in a wine or whisky is usually a sign of a damaged cask in which some fungi are growing. However, at a much lower level, when it is barely detectable, save on deep sniffing, a very faint earthy note can contribute to the good body of a Whisky or Wine flavour. We choose a very particular shading of the earthy aroma profile in our Whisky Aroma Kit because, in a whisky, the earthy note is always embedded in woody and other aroma notes. When you first sniff the Aroma Strip you will get an immediate sensation of smelling damp earth and this wonderfully natural sensation is accompanied almost immediately by clear piney-resinous aroma notes. You feel you are putting your fingers into the damp earth in a Scottish pine wood – exactly the shading you might find in some whiskies. For some people the initial strong earthy note is fleeting, it comes and goes very quickly, so you need to be alert for this possible effect. This special shading of earthiness is lively and contrasts with the heavy, mildew type of earthiness you might find in a damp cellar.
As with many of the key aroma molecules in Whisky, it is your personal sensitivity to this particular aroma theme which determines your personal evaluation of a particular Whisky. The kit can help you judge your personal sensitivity. If you are relatively insensitive - and this is likely to be simply an expression of your personal gene profile - then you may like a particular Whisky. However, on the contrary, if you are very sensitive, then you may not like the same particular Whisky. As noted above, you need to be particularly quick and vigilant to savour the full earthy note on the Aroma Strip in the Kit and it should be noted that none of the other notes in the profile are prominent for too long.
See our Whisky Aroma Kit for more information.