• Our rating: 85.0% (1 review)
  • Company:
  • Cacao solids: 70%
  • Guide Price: £12.40
  • Description by: Alex Rast
  • Production: Unknown
  • Certification:
    • None
  • Ingredients:
    • Cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter

A Nicaraguan variety. Possible grandfathers of Venezuelan Criollo/Trinitario. Planted in Northern Nicaragua. Soft fruitiness, gentle, long and pleasant aftertaste.

Friis Holm – Johe—Chocolate Review Rating: 85.0% out of 100 based on 1 reviews.

Friis Holm – Johe

The third in the series of ultra-exclusive limited-edition bars from Friis-Holm (benefitting from the distribution efforts and publicity of Chocolate and Love, this is the “plebeian” member of the family, being simply noted as of generic Nicaraguan origin. Nonetheless, this in itself is no mean feat, and sets the tone for the new wave of chocolatiers: interesting releases from heretofore unknown origins. Not only does this bring new flavour possibilities into the world of chocolate appreciation, it also helps to improve the industry in countries where not atypically, making an honest living as a farmer (or indeed often as anything else), can present a difficult challenge. Such efforts further encourage preservation of high-quality bean varietals which might otherwise disappear without trace, and are thus to be commended at every level.


Alex Rast: 6-Nov-2010

Posted: November 6, 2010 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 10%
Look/snap: 5%
Taste: 35%
Melt: 5%
Length: 15%
Opinion: 30%
Total/100: 100%
Best before:
Batch num:
Supplied by:

The “basic” bar of the Friis-Holm trio – no particular plantations identified, merely the Nicaraguan origin. Should we then expect a more basic taste? Not really. If one is to be completely honest, perhaps it is marginally less achieved than Chuno, which is again, that marginally less than Nicaliso, but this is splitting hairs. It’s another chocolate with lots of interest and character, and a fantastic length – perhaps the longest of all. It does have a more “rustic” character, perhaps than noble Nicaliso or executive-class Chuno, but again, this does more to add interest and variety than it does to detract from a fine bar. 3 chocolates, 3 winners: Friis Holm is in an enviable position with this line.

Out of the package, the bar shows yet again the Friis-Holm near-perfection of finish. Even swirling on the back is minimal, and an even, medium-brown colour show a bean of at least good merit. Aroma is surprisingly mild, though, strawberry with a bit of a dusty hint initially, then darker coffee with liquorice. The same hint of rubber shows up as in the other bars, and with the experience of those in mind is but little cause for alarm.

Initial flavour is a great surprise, chocolatey, yes, but with an unusual grassy edge previously seen mostly in a few Pralus chocolates. Almost imperceptibly the grassy hint grades into tobacco, and hints of brown sugar turn up, making the middle flavour smooth and relaxing. As the flavour moves towards the finish it turns to leather, now with stronger and more assertive woody and smoky background components with a distinct but not jarring bitterness. It all feels like a logical evolution.

Just like the other bars, this one achieves the identical textural perfection, with no detectable grain or resistance to melting whatsoever. The flavour, by contrast, does offer some resistance, but it’s not much, and with a length that astonishingly, endures for tens of minutes, ensures that this is a bar that continues to surprise. It is the least exclusive of the 3 Friis Holm bars (in a very relative way), and in the final analysis it is that subtly less refined. Perhaps this may deter some buyers, but it shouldn’t! This is a bar that should definitely be tried – the taste may last as long as the memory.

Leave a comment