Abstract The ability of an electronic nose, using a mass detector, to correlate with descriptive sensory analysis of aged Cheddar cheese was determined. A sensory panel ( n=12) received 75 h of training on 17 flavor terms for Cheddar cheese. Eleven aged Cheddar cheeses (⩾6 months age) were acquired as 10–20 pound blocks. Cheeses were evaluated in duplicate by an electronic nose and by the sensory panel. Data were analysed by multivariate techniques including cluster analysis and principal component analysis. Differences were noted between the two techniques, but cheeses were placed into similar clusters by cluster analysis for both the sensory and the electronic nose data. While not providing as complete an evaluation of flavor as descriptive sensory analysis, the electronic nose does appear to provide a chemical basis for the differentiation of aged Cheddar cheese aroma.