While many abnormal flavors present in dairy products are indefinite and difficult to name, others are sufficiently distinct so that descriptive names can be applied to them. 'fhe so-called burnt flavor is one of the rather common flavors belong'ing to the latter group and is observed particularly in butter. Butter showing this flavor has often been made from raw cream without the use of starter prepared from heated milk, so it is evident that the flavor is not due to the heat used in pasteurization. Moreover, the experienced butter judge recognizes a pronounced difference between the so-called burnt flavor and the flavor that results from excessive pasteurization exposures. The burnt flavor, like all flavors, is very difficult to describe. It suggests caramel to some people and the flavor of condensed milk to others, while still others believe it is more suggestive of malt.
Hammer, B. W. and Cordes, W. A.
"Burnt or caramel flavor of dairy products,"
Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station): Vol. 5
, Article 1.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/researchbulletin/vol5/iss68/1