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This is very much a Balkan style blend, resembling the old Balkan Sobranie 759. This Mixture is heavy in Turkish and Latakia, and some Oriental as well. For those of you looking for a good English style blend, this is the one to try.

BrandHouse of Calabash
Blended BySteven Books
Manufactured ByHouse of Calabash
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
ProductionCurrently available
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None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

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SeoulSister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SeoulSister (37)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

In the pouch Irishman’s 5 O’clock smells a little nutty, a little sweet and sour, and a little smoky. The smell of this tobacco reminds me of my father sitting in his recliner smoking a pipe when I was a little girl. Before I first light up a bowl of Irishman’s 5 O’clock, I let it dry out a little before lighting it. I5OC is a medium body smoke. The Latakia is not overpowering, and as a medium English smoker, it is has just the right amount Latakia. There is a slight sweetness from the Virginias, and it is well balanced. I really enjoy this tobacco and I would highly recommend it!

8 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Another one oz sample. Black/brown mottled ribbon with the classic pouch aroma of all of the finest English blends you've ever smoked. But each bowl told me that I did not agree with the blend description at all (cheeky, no? since the blender wrote it!). This reminds me of exactly zero of the classics, particularly Sobranie 759. This seems in a category all its own.

I would say that the latakia is more on the lighter side, certainly not "heavy". At least it doesn't taste heavy. It melds perfectly with the turkish and virginia and this blend has what I call "that old-timey taste", and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that some of that wonderful mega-decades old burley is used. Probably the older turkish as well. This has an incredible nutty taste and one of the best finishes in a tobacco I've ever experienced. The acid test for me for a great blend is how forlorn I feel after a bowl is over. This blend passed the test so colorfully that I usually lit a second bowl straight away.

Most English blends show me their lineage in certain ways. They don't all taste the same but I usually have some idea (right or wrong) as to where the blender's influence lies. With Uhle's "Bishops Move" and this blend, I have no idea. They are so unique in a world filled with similar blends that I experienced an epiphany that I don't get with other blends. While I would hesitate to call this my favorite latakia blend (lots of competition for that title!), this one scores 90 stars for its uniqueness. This one is going into my rotation, price notwithstanding. It's that good. If you enjoy this venerable recipe, get some of this!

5 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Mr. Books had pointed me in the direction of Irishman's 5 O'Clock several months before his decision to make it available though his web store at “The House of Calabash.” Now, having smoked more than a half pound of this amazing blend, I am pleased to see it on TR. Books' blending approach seems to be one from a different time. I5O, as with the theme that runs through his TR reviews, is balance. He tends to use Latakia as a condimental tobacco and while I am unsure of the percentage here, it's on the lower side of the English spectrum. However, that shouldn't be construed as the blend being light. I5O packs a medium to full body taste and the Turkish and Virginia's are all there in rhythm. It is fairly expensive for a bulk English blend, but based on the taste, I suspect he may be sprinkling some of the 35-40yr old tobaccos that he has stockpiled into the blend. The tobacco arrives a little bit moister than I prefer, but it dries quickly. Its complex in flavor and as I said above, very balanced. Highly Recommended!

4 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3008)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The dry, lightly spicy, woody, sour Oriental plays well with the dry, woody, mildly buttery sweet Turkish in an important secondary position. The latakia seems to be mostly Cyprian, and is smoky, woody sweet, and almost competes with the Oriental and Turkish for attention. The Virginia provides a little citrus and dark fruit, a few blades of grass and a touch of earth as the supporting base of the blend. There's not one harsh note to be had here, and certainly no bite. The nic-hit is a shade past the mild level. Every component is noticeable in virtually every puff of this well balanced mixture, though I think it's a tad sweeter than the old Balkan Sobranie 759. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a complex, fairly smooth and consistent flavor from top to bottom. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires few relights. Has a pleasant after taste. This may well be the smoothest all day English blend I've ever smoked, but that doesn't mean it's light in flavor or strength. If you're a dedicated English smoker and need a lat-bomb break, this may be what you should reach for, even if it is a bit pricey.


3 people found this review helpful.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (71)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This was my first Steven Books blend. The ziplock had calligraphy on it saying Irishman's Five O'clock. This was evidently written by Mr. Books and was nice touch to the overall presentation. He also sent a 1oz sample of Sword of Avalon, a copy of John Cotton's 1 and 2, which was also excellent (another review perhaps) I5O has a nice ribbon cut with a variety of colored tobacco. The baggie contained all smokeable tobacco with no stems or chunks of leaf clumped together like one finds in most blends today. Mr. Books tells me its blended by hand and aged in barrels for a marriage of all the different leaves. The smells are of Syrian Latakia and that familiar sour sharpness of Eastern tobaccos. My nose stings a little each time I take a whiff, which I have been doing a lot lately. It has a rich and alluring aroma that I'm told is all the finest tobacco, with zero additives. How he created a blend with such balance is nothing short of magnificent. The taste has been consistently remarkable. THIS is a blend with a "flavor never tiring". It demands you slow down and smell the roses... so complex and captivating. A pipeful of this makes me feel like I'm bathing in everything that is good about pipe smoking. After nearly six ounces of this, I find myself liking my other four star blends a bit less. THIS is a four star blend. I want it often and even daydream about it's perfect taste (NOT an exaggeration). I5O is highly recommended for lovers of the old 759, its contemporaries, or for anyone else looking for a balanced, high quality, high society English/Balkan masterpiece.

3 people found this review helpful.

Skibbereen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skibbereen (19)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Pleasant

I am a returning pipe smoker after 20 years of being away from it. I have read alot from this site to get me re-oriented again to be able to make some informed decisions on what to try. Of course all the 4 star reviews on Mr. Books tobaccos was a definitive push to try them. So I picked I5OC and I am very pleased I did. I think it is a wonderful blend. I started with aromatic Peterson blends and I quickly continued on to what are considered non-aromatic english/balkan blends. My 1oz. sample came in a clear plastic baggie so I immediatley could see the tobacco mixture of light golden ribbon cuts of tobacco mixed with black chips of what must be the latakia. Opening the baggie was an experience of joy. The smell was just fantastic. It smelled like a top of the line Dunhill blend. Very rich but with a high end restraint. Not over the top...but just right. It was moist but not overly so. I packed a Milverton with ease and lit the charing light with ease. The taste of the tobacco was rich and smooth. A hint of sweetness off the tail end of the draw..just lovely. The second light was just as easy and off we go. I could immediately tell I was smoking a very refined english blend. I have never tasted anything so smooth and sweet but yet so rich and refined. Not one tobacco over does the other. They all blend together effortlessly to compliment each other. I went to pipe smoking heaven for the next 45 minutes or so. I could easily smoke this all day and night and never become bored with it. I intend to dry my next bowl and try it in some different size bowls just to see the experience I get. I'll get back to you on that. It is a bit on the pricey side but if you have the coin to splurge on yourself I have two words for you...DO IT !!!

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

I like the way it looks in the pouch, the smell of it before I light up and the taste from start to finish of this one. Full and engaging, it is worthy of after-hours contemplation and anticipation. With the Latakia in the background, center stage is a sweet melody of Turkish varietals and Orientals in smooth consort akin to a balmy afternoon on the dock of a bay, watching the tide roll away. This is a traditional blend that will bring the seed of memory to conscious thoughts of when B&Ms didn't get their stock out of plastic bags. If you're fond of light Balkan or Heavy English blends, then this one is for you. It took me a few bowls to begin to come to terms with the complexities of this smoke, which I have not regretted spending the time to do so. I can smoke this into the wee hours, deriving pleasures from it like a private dancer. Seductive and smooth, it tells a story of unpretentious gratitude of living the good life. It makes me long for the days when you could smoke in the taverns, without concern for excess. Time for another bowl.

2 people found this review helpful.

Redd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redd (117)
Strong Strong Extra Full Pleasant

Yes this reminds of the balkan Blends that I tried in the early 80's. I was then a novice and it took me a couple of years to reach that certain level to smoke. And I grew to love these blends. That having been said this is a great reminisant smoke I love it. The aroma is great. Pricey stuff but I guess you get what u pay for. Plenty of good Nic level

1 person found this review helpful.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (107)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Edit 8-6-16 I'm going to have to knock down my rating a couple stars. It may be that this blend doesn't age too well or that my tastes have changed but this one just tastes flat to me now. I actually (for the first time ever) threw the rest of it away in a potted plant where I dump all my pipe dottle. I love some other Books blends (7 of 9 being my favorite) but I won't be buying more of this stuff. It went from Essential to Meh in the past few years since I first reviewed this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This blend is a must try. Strong Latakia and Orientals with a certain tang sensation to it. That is all I know how to describe it, it had a kind of a tang that was quite pleasant when exhaled through the nostrils. I will be sure to have more of this on hand.

Soli Deo gloria!

Nobody has rated this review yet.