As you might have picked up on, I tend to find Japanese sweets fairly… sweet. The basic level of sweetness in a Kit Kat is about as sweet as I tend to prefer my chocolate bars too be–generally I like salty-sweet stuff like Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, or Mont Blanc Pepsi with its bitter/sweetness. So on the promise that this Kit Kat was merely “semi sweet”, I was eager to check it out.
Packaging: Now THAT’S an eye-catching package design. An intense red and black checkerboard seems like a strange choice for a taste that is foremost described as being somewhat subdued, but who am I to judge? I did find the lack of English language on the package to be a bit confusing though. I guess semi-sweet isn’t a popular enough English phrase that it’s earned a spot on the outside of the packaging.
Scent: Baking chocolate. The semi-sweet Kit Kat has a very mild scent compared to other Kit Kats I’ve tried, and inhaling really closely to it you get something close to a baking chocolate smell. Not a high-quality, high-cocoa dark chocolate, but also not the same as the standard Kit Kat milk chocolate. It’s not bad, but it does kind of reinforce the notion that the highest quality chocolate is not being used in its presentation.
Taste: Like it says on the package, it’s a semi-sweet version of Kit Kat…! It doesn’t really have much in the way a depth of flavour like you might hope for from a dark chocolate, but I guess it never really promised depth of flavour, just a less sweet version of the regular Kit Kat. It’s not entirely bitter, nor entirely devoid of sweetness, but it also doesn’t have a lot going on. I guess that’s the problem with defining flavours by their absence?
Verdict: I could see this being really popular in North America, where people are constantly made to feel terrible about snacking. It’s a chocolate bar that isn’t sweet (or terribly tasty), so it must be okay!
Seriously though, I may seem like I’m being a bit hard on it, it’s not bad by any stretch but if I wanted to eat something that wasn’t that sweet I’d go and get… another snack. As far as I’m concerned, this is a rare miss in the Kit Kat pantheon.