As I announced last week, J-List have just recently replenished their chocolate stocks and my pal Peter has sent me a nice sampling package containing some of the latest Japanese chocolate snacks. Of course whenever we talk about Japanese chocolate snacks the words 'Kit Kat' are never far behind. Indeed, in this latest package Peter included the last hot property flavour available on the Japanese market - the 'Dark Bitter' variety. You may have noticed that this flavour has been in the top selling J-List snack chart for a fair few weeks, which is little surprise given that like most Kit Kat flavours in Japan it is only around as a limited edition.
This Kit Kat variety came in a box containing two 17.0g double finger serving sizes that I ate in a single sitting as an afternoon snack. The Japanese Kit Kats always have tendency for being immacutaly presented but this variety looked particularly classy with the box finished with a matted feel material and sparkling gold coloured fonts. As per usual the Kit Kat fingers inside were wrapped in foil wrappers and were kept in a lovely fresh condition emanating some delightful chocolatey scents when ripped open.
I have to admit I perhaps wasn't quite as intrigued about this variety as I had been with more some of the more unusual flavours I had sourced from Japan in the past. In the UK we obviously have a dark chocolate Kit Kat readily available to us all - this was a bar I reviewed back in September 2008 in which I concluded: 'I wouldn't say it was better than the standard Kit Kat, though nor would I say it was worse'. My grand hope for this Japanese variety was that it was going to take the dark chocolate flavour experience a stage further than our 'mass consumer friendly' dark chocolate offering. Unfortunately when it came to the taste test I pretty much came to the same conclusion about this Japanese bar than I did the UK one. The 'dark' chocolate coating in reality was what I like to call a 'mass consumer friendly' unsweetned chocolate. It was fair in it's flavour contribution and noticeably less sweet, however the cocoa volume was hardly turned up in the taste. The only real difference I percieved from the UK bar was that the texture of the chocolate melt was a little grittier and rougher in this Japanese version. This wasn't so much an annoyance or particularly noticceable, but it certainly wasn't to my preference. On a positive note the four finger portion was at least decent size for a mid-afternoon snack, and did me right in that sense.
Overall although I was a tiny weenie bit disappointed that this Japense Kit Kat Dark Bitter didn't provide a step change experience from our UK offering, at the end of the day it was still a very nice chocolate bar. Given the sweetness of a lot of the other Kit Kat varities I have tried from the Far East in the past it was probably a little naive of me hoping for a 70% Lindt dark chocolate experience. I'm not saying The dark chocolate coating on offer was bad in any way shape or form (it wasn't!), but I would absolutely love to try a Kit Kat one day that has a serious dark chocolate exterior - I guess one can dream. On the basis that our UK Kit Kat Dark is so similar, I can't go recommending this bar as a 'must try now' for all you readers. You still might want to keep your eyes on the J-List website however, as Peter has informed me there is due to be an influx of all new flavours very soon.
8.1 out of 10