This is an odd Kit Kat. It’s based on a popular treat found in Hokkaido that’s often sold during the fall season. This seasonal treat is designed to celebrate the fall season, and often shaped like a maple leaf. The assumption when you first see the cake (or the package of this Kit Kat) is that it might be filled with some kind of maple filling, but it’s not. It’s actually filled with manju (red bean paste). The second assumption is that maybe the cake is maple flavoured, but it’s not. This is simply a small plain or vanilla flavoured cake filled with red bean paste that looks like a maple leaf.
This then makes for an odd choice to make a Kit Kat bar because the selling point of the original cake is the shape. If you take the shape away it’s just like many of the other cakes you find around Japan during festival seasons. What you would expect then, is for this Kit Kat bar to simply be a red bean paste Kit Kat, but it’s not. The problem is that this bar doesn’t really taste like red bean paste at all. It also doesn’t taste like maple. So other than a couple of little maple leaves imprinted on the bar, it’s not really like its namesake at all.
The flavour is just sweet, with a strange light bitter aftertaste. The strongest flavour I could identify was a subtle vanilla, likely from the white chocolate. It’s great to celebrate the special snacks from all over Japan, but it’s hard when many of them are basically the same flavour. That is unless Kit Kat finds a way to celebrate the unique shapes as well.