I’ve been looking forward to writing a review of the Wispa Gold for a while. As a boy who grew up in the 90’s, this bar will probably forever remind me of my childhood. First released in 1995, the Wispa and Wispa Gold were discontinued from sale by Cadbury in 2003. Then Cadbury caved into the pressure to bring the original bar back in 2008, with the Wispa Gold appearing not long after.
Cadbury Wispa Gold
For those of you who don’t know what the bar consists of, it’s a layer of aerated milk chocolate, topped with caramel and covered in more milk chocolate.
First and foremost, I think that this bar looks brilliant from the outside. The wrapper jumps out at you from the shelf when you’re shopping, although I’m not sure why. Twix has a similarly coloured gold wrapper but isn’t nearly as effective at catching my eye.
It just looks fantastic. The ‘Wispa’ writing is enough alone to transport me back to the 90’s.
Nostalgia doesn’t make chocolate taste better than it is though. For instance Wagon Wheels were great a decade ago. Now they suck.
The pleasing aesthetics of the Wispa Gold outer wrapper aren’t exactly matched by the bar itself. No two ways about it, this thing looks boring. If chocolate was bought ‘naked’ (i.e. without any wrappers) I don’t think too many people would be picking this up off the shelf.
I realise that it seems silly to be moaning about the bar appearing a little boring, but everything I review gets the same treatment, whether the product is old or new. And legendary as the Wispa Gold is, I would be criticising a chocolate bar which looked like this had it just been released, so it’s only fair and consistent that the Wispa Gold gets that criticism too.
After cracking the wrapper open, the bar smells good. The scents are of sweet chocolate and buttery caramel.
A lot of Cadbury products smell exactly the same- for instance a blindfolded person isn’t going to be able to tell the difference between a Twirl, Curly Wurly, Crunchie, Time Out etc. The Wispa Gold smells unique though. It is different even to the regular Dairy Milk Caramel bar, which is a little odd when you think about it, given that the bars comprise of exactly the same contents! (Albeit presented in a different way.)
You’ll already have seen in the photo above that the caramel is sticky. It sticks to everything and anything it touches. In fact it’s probably the stickiest caramel I’ve ever come across. That is beneficial when trying to eat it; it means that you don’t end up with caramel pouring down your shirt.
The taste is a joy too. The caramel is immensely enjoyable- predominantly buttery but with a hint of salt to take the edge of the sweetness. That pinch of salt stops it becoming too cloying. I’d actually prefer a little more salt to be honest, but that is just my personal opinion.
The chocolate taste is, as is basically always the case with Cadbury, decent enough. It’s sweet, milky and works quite nicely with the caramel. It should really be toosweet, but for some reason it isn’t- I polished off this bar and was surprised that it wasn’t a bit sickly. I think the aerated element of the chocolate is partly to thank for that- it makes the bar seem a little lighter than the Dairy Milk Caramel. Aerated chocolate melts in the mouth quicker and that saves the Wispa Gold from becoming unpleasantly cloying.
To be frank, I think that this bar is lovely. And I don’t mean that solely because of the nostalgia involved (although the look, taste and smells involved did remind me of the 1990’s). As a standalone bar, all history and back-story ignored, this is still a lovely chocolate bar.
The success of the bar, in my opinion, is that it’s a ‘Goldilocks bar’. By that, I mean that every element involved is ‘just right’. It is sweet and enjoyable but not too sickly. The caramel has genuine flavour development and the texture is good; not too runny and not too thick. Best of all, and unusually for aerated chocolate in my experience, the Wispa Gold is actually satisfying. After finishing this bar, I was full. It had done its job as a snack. Yet I didn’t feel sick either. It was just right.
Those words sum up the Wispa Gold. It’s just right.