Few people know the aroma of Cassia Bark but when you tell them that it smells a bit like cinnamon - known to most people - they begin to have an understanding of this strong hot spicy scent. There is a distinct overlap in the aroma profiles of the oils from cassia and cinnamon. When you smell it, the ravishing hot spicy and distinguishable “cinnamon-like but heavier” aroma is very evident. This is the archetypal hot spicy smell, arousing and conjuring-up feelings of being in markets in far-away towns in Asia or Africa. Bombay Sapphire pioneered this Aroma note in Gins in recent times and it is also found in other brands such as Martin Miller’s. The major molecule with the characteristic hot spicy aroma is cinnamic aldehyde and cassia oils may have anything between 70%-90% of this powerful odorant. Like all aldehydes, it is prone to oxidation and this is why it is important to extract the oil during the distillation of the Gin. The other odorant molecules vary dependent on source and significantly contribute to the variations in aroma.
In the Far East, herbal teas are made from Cassia. It is also interesting to note that Cassia is mentioned in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible as a constituent of holy anointing oils.
When nosing this Aroma Solution from the Gin Aroma Kit, ‘something’ is there on the first sniff of the wet Aromas Strip and it then metamorphoses into a clear dark spicy Cassia Bark note. Note that although this aroma is somewhat like cinnamon, as noted above, its profile is different being more complex and less uni-dimensional.