He's probably mistaking the caramel for the butterscotch/toffee aroma characteristic of diacetyl or another similar compound 2,3 pentanedione that smells somewhat like honey. These are a result of the yeast being taken off the beer too early. Both compounds are metabolized by yeast late in fermentation and especially during conditioning. Look up the term "vicinal diketones" of "VDK's" and read everything you can about them. I suggest any works by Lewis and/or Bamforth.