For Kit-Kat lovers, Japan is a place to order from since they have so many different varieties ranging maccha green tea, strawberry cheesecake, baked sweet potato, and hazelnut. In February 2016, Nestlé Japan added a new limited time flavor to the Japanese Kit-Kat roster: Sake.
According to Nestlé Japan spokesperson Takuya Hiramatsu, sake Kit-Kat bars have an “elegant taste of sake, wrapped in the gentle sweetness of white chocolate” with “mellow, full-bodied flavor, and a refreshing aftertaste of sake.”
With the taste description, Hiramatsu points out that the Kit-Kat bars have a .08 alcohol content, so he advises against eating the chocolate with actual sake, and he advises that children and light-weight drinkers should avoid the chocolate altogether.
Sake Kit-Kat Bar are not available in the US, but can be purchased through online retailers and even eBay. Upon the release of the candy, we had an opportunity to taste-test them and provide a review.
The Kit-Kats arrive in a cute little white and pink sakura box with a sake bottle on the cover. On the back, a “to” and “from” graphic takes up the upper left corner. The packaging looks like a Valentine’s gift, so this is a nice attention to detail. Once the candies are removed from the box, the packaging has the same sakura theme; but instead of a bottle, sake shot glasses appear on the wrapper. The presentation is definitely better than buying any old Kit-Kat bar in the United States, so it actually looks like the receiver is getting something worthwhile.
Upon opening the foil, the scent of alcohol hits like running into a steel wall at a high speed. For people who don’t like the smell of liquor of any kind, the chocolate is a total turn-off because the scent is overwhelming and somewhat nose-burning. Within a couple of minutes, my work area smelled terribly of alcohol, almost like I went to a bar and spilled down the front of me. It’s really unpleasant and a complete departure from the adorable packaging.
The strong scent is surprising considering that the candy has a white chocolate coating. Other white chocolate Kit-Kats have a pleasant, sweet, sugary scent: Not this. This is definitely a departure from the statement Hiramatsu provided regarding the “gentle sweetness of white chocolate.” Gentle isn’t the word I would use for anything at this moment.
Before biting into the whole candy, the white chocolate coating needed to be nibbled first. Despite the smell, the chocolate has a distinct sweet, sugary white chocolate taste, but with a layer of something else that enhances the flavor. This is surprising considering how the whole treat smells overwhelmingly like a drinking party in candy form.
The whole candy tastes no different than white chocolate Kit-Kats initially. The wafer tastes like a regular Kit-Kat, making the whole moment where the candy touches the tongue a disappointment. However, the sake flavor kicks in as the candy is swallowed. When the bits reach the back of the throat, there is a slight burning sensation, and the scent of sake fills the mouth and tickles the inside of the nose. A strange warming sensation also erupts to let you know that, yes, sake is present in the candy. The slight burning sensation feels a little different than a sake, but more like something that has a hint of vodka.
The layers of flavor and how it unfolds is what makes trying sake Kit-Kat bars a different experience.
Opening the package of these Kit-Kats is an unpleasant experience unless you enjoy the smell of alcohol. The scent alone can be a turn-off, but the taste isn’t that bad until swallowed. This isn’t a candy that can be enjoyed all the time, not just because of the taste, but because of the .08 alcohol content, so don’t eat a lot. Sake Kit-Kat bars are definitely… different.
Bottom-Line: Good for the person who likes unique candy that smells like an alcohol-fueled brothel, but definitely not for everyone. They earn a score of 2/5.