Manchego cheese can be manufactured from raw or pasteurized ewes' milk. An automatic purge and trap apparatus, coupled to a GC-MS was used to isolate, identify and compare the relative amounts of the volatile components of raw and pasteurized Manchego cheese during ripening. The majority of volatile compounds were more abundant in raw milk (RM) cheeses than in pasteurized milk (PM) cheeses. Alcohols and esters predominated in the profile of RM Manchego cheese, while methyl-ketones and 2,3-butanedione were quantitatively important in PM cheeses. Branched chain alcohols were much more abundant in RM cheeses. The discriminant analysis separated 100% samples into RM or PM cheeses by using only 16 volatile compounds. Aroma intensity was correlated with esters, branched chain aldehydes and branched chain alcohols in RM cheeses, and with esters, branched chain aldehydes, 2-methyl ketones and 2-alkanols in PM cheeses. Diacetyl was positively correlated with the aroma attribute ‘toasted’ and negatively correlated with aroma quality in PM cheeses.