Cadbury Bournville Old Jamaica

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on April 28 2009 | Leave A Comment
Cadbury Bournville Old Jamaica Rum & Raisin

Back in December 2007, Kath reviewed the Australian version of this bar, but I thought I’d give this a go, seeing as we often find big differences in UK and Australian versions of the same bar – particularly where Cadbury is concerned.

Of course, the packaging here is very different from Australian Old Jamaica, and we have the ‘Bournville’ brand stuck in there for good measure – which to be honest probably puts more people off than it attracts in this day and age.

The wrapper proudly claims this is “Raisins & rum flavoured dark chocolate”. But in actual fact, it contains no real rum, and it’s hardly dark chocolate. A quick look at the back of the pack reveals that it contains only 39% cocoa solids. It also contains 18% raisins and – oddly – milk fat.

The ‘treat-wise’ label also shows that total sugars in this bar are 14.7g per 25g of chocolate. Ouch.

So really, what we have here is “raisins with some dark-coloured milk chocolate, lots of sugar and some artificial flavour”.

Cadbury Bournville Old Jamaica Rum & Raisin

Looks-wise, the bar scores well. It has a nice dark, reddish colour and a healthy sheen. It looks like it would snap quite cleanly if it weren’t for the preponderance of chewy raisins that stick every chunk to its neighbour.

The taste: Overwhelmingly sugar and rum.

It’s quite difficult to get a handle on the chocolate flavour because the sweet, fake alcohol overpowers it entirely. Given the flavour of plain Borunville chocolate, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’m still at a bit of a loss as to how they manage to squeeze so much sugar and artificial rum into such a small space.

The really annoying thing about this bar though is that it’s just so moreish. Despite the fact that I really didn’t like it, I found myself breaking off chunks every couple of minutes without even realising.

Simply put, this is a snack bar rather than real chocolate. But for those sugar addicts with no concept of calories out there, it fulfills that role quite nicely.


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Comments On This Post

  1. Lara

    I love this stuff, it reminds me of my grandpa. It was his favourite chocolate, the only stuff he would eat. I agree, it tastes all kinds of wrong these days (ten years ago it was far better) but I can still get through a whole bar of it very quickly…

  2. Richard

    I can confirm the taste difference. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk here in Oz is foul beyond belief. It tastes almost like there is a ‘barrier’ to the taste you have to get through first. Someone told me the bar was different as Cadburys put something in to try and stop the bars melting in the heat. I’m inclined to believe it! Avoid at all costs.

  3. Simon

    I still remember the pirates in the adverts. This was my Mum’s favourite in the 1970’s. Well, that and Bournville. And Roses.

  4. Oliver

    Orange one is nice to try I thought!

  5. river

    I used to love Old Jamaica. It was my dad’s favourite and I’d buy it for him at christmas and for father’s days and birthdays. We’d share it while watching TV, until I moved away. Since he died I haven’t been able to bring myself to buy it.

  6. Kerryanne

    I am in the UK and have been trying to find this chocolate for a couple of years, having read blog somewhere or other I discovered it was discontinued 2 years ago. Does anyone know anything different? My mum and I used to love this chocolate, thanks x

    • Terry

      Kerryanne it is still very easy to get, this and a lot of the old type sweets, just go through I bought a box of 18 bars about 2 weeks and in total think they cost me just over £42, hope that helps, they definately do taste different I am not sure if this is because apparently this chocolate is halal which I for 1 am not very happy about, apparently most of cadbury’s chocolate made now is halal only:(

  7. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    Kerryanne – it’s definitely available again. I think I found this one in Tesco.

  8. Paul

    I was upset when Old Jamaica disappeared from our shelves in the late 90s. It was my favourite chocolate and I really hoped that it would return some day. I’ve now bought two bars of the new product. I’m unlikely to buy any more. It’s horrible, and cannot be recommended at all. The recipe is completely wrong. The original Old Jamaica was a mixture of plain and milk chocolate with rum-flavoured rasins. The new chocolate purports to be plain chocolate, but it isn’t. Whatever it is, it tastes utterly foul. I am shocked by the amount of sugar in it, the rum flavour is even more artificial than the original, and the packaging is wimpy. Who on earth thought that a delicate lilac wrapper would be a good marketing angle? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Bring back the classy gold packaging, the pirates and the jokey TV ads. Above all, Cadbury needs to completely re-think the recipe, ideally duplicating the original. Old Jamaica was good before; it’s dire now. I certainly don’t want to knock it all back!

  9. Dominic

    I found Old Jamaica at the Norwich Pound shop 180-200 gram bars I had a tenners worth it was everything I remebered from the seventies Im a chocoholic I need to find a cheap supplier despite being struck down with diebetes I love it

  10. Jess

    Hey, Where can i get hold of Old Jamaica choclate? Its driving me crazy i cant find any shop that sells it, in wolverhampton area.Can any1 help?

  11. will

    Ah, lighten up. It’s not THAT bad. Just ate a whole bar of it!! Okay, so it’s not what it used to be, back in the 70’s and whenever, but it still beats Mars bars or snickers. They could bring back the adverts though, they really used to totally slay me! Remember the one with Long John Silver?? “Aaaarr, Jim-lad! Get the flavour of Old Jamaicy!!!!”. (Incidently, why are pirates called pirates?? Because they aaaaarh!!!)

  12. Linda Bell

    OMG – what a blast from my past – my absolute favouritist choccie ever and now at Tesco! Yes the fake rum flavour and sweetness overpowers the chocolate, perhaps the fact that it’s made by Cadbury France for Cadbury Bourneville explains why it’s a very poor 39% cocoa solids. And what “genius” guru in marketing got paid thousands for the new packaging as it’s horrible – what was wrong with orange and pirates? If it aint broke don’t fix it!
    A certain once a month treat for me even if it is a poor relation to the original!!

  13. alan

    I really liked this, it may not be identical to the original but hey, it’s still a nice tasting bar. the pavkaging is a funny colour I do agree, but really, can people REALLY tell whether the rum in it is ‘fake’ tasting? tastes like rum to me! or being pedantic over whether its the raisins which are flavoured or the chocolate? honestly, what silliness. how can you tell? stick an old wrapper on it and I bet most people would taste no difference!

  14. Sheila Gordon

    I love Old Jamaica. Used to be my favourite bar in the 70’s (orange and gold wra p with the ship on it) and it was gone.

  15. Don’t be fooled by the name. The new ‘bournville’ version isn’t a patch on the one I used to buy for my dad in the seventies and eighties for birthdays and christmas. The real one was a mixture of milk and plain chocolate and had a much better flavour than the new one. The new one is just too sweet and sickly and overpowering. It’s also too chunky, the old one was flatter and you got more juicy raisins per bite than the new one. Overall a disappointing experience – bring back the old one!

  16. ian telford

    bring back cadbury milk/raisin chocolate

  17. mark davies

    Just shared a bit of a bar with my son. He recoiled in horror and asked if it was out of date. Bearing in mind he is a student and will eat anything it is not a ringing endorsement. Having to have a large brew now – both of us – to wash out the horrible chemically taste. Rank in the extreme. Nothing like the 70s version

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