As with most of their products, Mars likes to cycle through a seasonal variation alongside the regular or original flavours. Both Mars Bar and Snickers are good examples of this. Bounty, on the other hand, tends to be left out of this cycle (or at least doesn't rotate through it as quickly as the other bars). In the past it has been available in dark chocolate, which is no longer available, and cherry first became available in 2009, and disappeared shortly afterwards. Now it's back!
The red and silver packaging is immediately obvious compared to the blue and silver of the standard plain coconut-flavoured Bounty. On the side of the pack, the bar claims to contain 'moist tender coconut and cherries in dark chocolate' and happily the pack contains graphics of both cherries and coconut.
Inside we have the two small bars with rounded ends, and three triangles/flows of chocolate on top. (Wikipedia tells me Mars attempted to trademark the bar shape and the three triangles back in 2003, which ultimately fell through.) The chocolate is nice and rich in colour, a nice dark brown with faint gloss. Even through the chocolate is thick and solid, I can smell the coconut and a faint cherry scent as well. Thankfully, neither are overbearing as some bars tend to be.
The chocolate layer is quite solid and thick (almost 2mm in places), and holds in place the bright red coconut inside. I was surprised to discover that the coconut didn't really resemble the long thin pieces you would find in a bag of dessicated coconut, but instead looks like wet sand that has dried. It has a faint faux-cherry scent to it too, though the chocolate keeps it from becoming too medicinal. There are also no signs of cherry pieces (like one would find in a Cadbury Cherry Ripe), so the bar seems to be just cherry-flavoured coconut. The ingredients list states that the bar contains the equivilant of 4.6% fresh cherries, and 'red cherry puree' is sitting down in sixth position on the list. So that line of 'moist tender cherries and coconut' is bull!
The solid chocolate coating provides a lovely crunch, and the flavour is surprisingly nice. The coconut provides mostly texture rather than flavour, and the cherry and chocolate balance each other out to provide a bit that is mild but presents both flavours equally. If you're looking for a very mild version of a Cadbury Cherry Ripe, then this is your bar, but otherwise it provides no competition. The coconut is pleasingly moist and chewy.
I'm not a fan of coconut and the way it sticks in your teeth so this is not a bar I would personally purchase again, and this may colour my rating somewhat.
2.5 out of 5 stars.
One piece is one serve (22.5g). The chocolate contains a minimum of 38% cocoa solids. It may contain treenuts, egg, barley and peanuts.