Reviews: 67839 Tobaccos: 5971What's NewLoginRegister
Product Image

Where to Buy


The name implies stately strength, and this blend delivers. A unique combination of Virginias, including a rich flake, Turkish and Orientals, lots of Latakia and spiced up, but cooled down by a judicious splash of St. James Perique, this tobacco has an almost incense-like aroma, with a surprisingly fresh, clean aftertaste.

BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured ByPipes & Cigars
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Packaging1.5oz Tin, 8oz Tin, Bulk
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
Product Image
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

17 reviews
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Sort By
Please login to review this blend.
SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (542)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Hearth and Home’s Armada is a full flavored blend that arrives ready for the pipe with no need of dry time. Armada is a Latakia heavy blend, but there is enough Oriental that pops to the forefront often enough to keep things interesting, especially in the first half of the bowl. Armada is also a bit spicy, but not overpowering. The Perique is well done and adds support without overtaking the blend in a way that can happen when Perique is used in English blends. There is a decent amount of complexity in this blend too. The only thing that keeps this from being a four star blend for me is in the latter stages of each bowl, the Latakia takes over a little too much for my personal taste. Armada is a big, bold blend that will satisfy those that enjoy English blends.

Age When Smoked: New

5 people found this review helpful.

clifswin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
clifswin (8)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

What do I think of Armada? Complex. There's a bit of almost everything you could want in here. Spicy taste from the Perique, sweet from the Virgianias, and smoky, rich tones from the Latakia & Orientals. The aftertaste is oddly clear, like after a mouthful of warm mineral water. This is a good one for times when you don't know what you're in the mood for, just so long as it isn't a one-note tobacco. It might be almost too busy for some moods. If this were music, it'd be a Bach fugue. Sometimes I'll go for a simpler smoke, something more like Paul Horn or Steve Reich. Sometimes a big band burley or an old-time rock-n-roll cavendish. This is one for when I want Bach.

2 people found this review helpful.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (76)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I like this a lot. Its like a budget version of Skiff Mixture.

I don't get the Lat as much as others seem to. It seems to play a support role, with nice and pleasant presence of some gentle Lat, followed by some rich and earthy VA's and Orientals.

The result is an unusual mixture that works very well in the same vein as Skiff Mixture does. If you're the type of English smoker who judges on the Latakia percentage, you best move on and not bother, if you like them more rounded and to taste the other component, I encourage you to take a spin on this wheel and see if you like the cocktail.

Midday, nice afternoon, sitting on a park bench with a book, this is nice to have puffing away.

Similar Blends: S&G Skiff Mixture, McClelland Oriental 1.

1 person found this review helpful.

Elkabong Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Elkabong (11)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Mr. Ouellette was present at the 2006 CORPS pipe show in Richmond, VA, hawking his blends. Because of his ready expertise and affable manner, I ordered a pouch of this, and subsequently, a pound. I'll order more.

First pouch experience: I was pleased with the aroma, finding it to be McClelland-like, oddly enough. I had a bit of trouble getting the initial light to take, but it settled out immediately and burned well to the bowl's bottom, with only minimal coaxing and "futzing." Some stems needed culling, but roughly equivalent to the same pick-through I have to give a baggie of 965, which I also buy in bulk. Note -- for some reason, they sent my pound of tobac in eight two ounce baggies. I'd have preferred this in a large bag, subject to my own division. I think it stays moister that way.

Truth told, I have no idea what the room note is. I've smoked Dunhill (965) and several McClelland virginias for so long, I can't smell much of anything anymore. But my wife didn't complain -- however, she has a wonderful tolerance for English blends, for which I am profoundly grateful, and due to which I'm in little danger of falling into overt atheism or developing anti-social tendencies such as voting for democrats.

I think this is perhaps a young blend, and intend to age some to see what mellowness might be coaxed out through a bit of maturation. There is a slight harshness to this blend that is, I believe, indicative of its need for some quiet time.

I've found that it doesn't do as well in smaller bowls, although my puffing habits may aggravate that, or even be responsible entirely. In large-ish bowls I consider it a delight, and intend to make this part of my regular rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

rkzenrage Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rkzenrage (17)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

Right out of the bag this stuff is really wonderful. Flavor wise it is creamy to smoke with a clean, crisp, high-note (how did he do that?) and a true education in tobacco? at least it was for me. I ?got? some things about interaction better than I had before. Saying that, and I do smoke it now? I have a jar off to the side that I am aging and I have a feeling that once the varitiels have a chance to do their thing with the Va?s and Latakias for about six months to a year I just KNOW that it will have something smooth and unique to show me.

Smokeasaurus hit it dead on the head? I could not expressed it any better. Thanks.


1 person found this review helpful.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Armada is a creation of Russ Ouellette, a concocter of weed brews for a quarter century. He reached into many jars for this one. Having struggled with blending and balancing mixtures on my own, a balanced mix of (at least) five components seems improbably difficult, yet here is such a blend. I?m not sure what how a learned tobacconist would categorize this, but I?d call it a cajun english blend.

Appearances: the many ingredients are reflected in the flakes: long very light strands of orientals, short milk chocolate brown virginias(?), and about 25% of latakia. Many small particles settle to the bottom of the container; I?d recommend giving it a good shake prior to loading up. Drying is unnecessary, though I struggle more than average to keep it lit and I?m not sure why.

Taste comparisons: Dunhill London Mixture with perique, GLP?s Cairo with latakia. Although the choir sings together well, I?d say the virginia component is the least noticeable major ingredient, based on the dryness in the mouth. Very little sweetness here, to my taste. The perique in this blend is its signature tweak and is light enough for even a fussbudget mouth like mine. There is enough latakia for all but the hardcore, though it doesn?t seem dominant.

Pipe recommendation: go big. I originally smoked this in small bowls so as to make my sample last for several smokes for a fair review. Bad strategy. A big pipe will last an hour and a half and will reveal many nuances not otherwise noticed in a small one. It likes my full bent Peterson and especially my big meer.

Recommendations: if you like to tweak your blends with additional perique, this is definitely your cup of meat. If you are a purist of english blends, this might upset you. The perique, though expertly sneaked in, tends to distract me personally, yet without it, Armada would get lost in the crowd. I like a bit more sweetness in my latakia blends, so I doubt I would restock this. Yet I have to admire this blend for its variety and balance. Your call.

1 person found this review helpful.

WilDavis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WilDavis (3)
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

Very smooth, tasty, very reminiscent of The Balkan Sobranie Smoking Mixture. Yum! Very pleasant! Mmmmmmm! Quite delicious! I must get some more of this excellent stuff!!!

Pipe Used: Peterson System 317 small (about 40 years old)

Age When Smoked: just delivered this morning

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars .com

Similar Blends: I love the Latakia, and the hint of Perique. No bite, very smooth and silky!.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DJFalsifier Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DJFalsifier (1)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I'm new to pipes, and perhaps this wasn't a good first English blend. I'm not quite able to identify all the blends, but this definitely has a complex taste. Bold flavor on puffs, a little spicy- the most cigar-like of any pipe tobacco I've tried. It does have an interesting aftertaste- definitely like mineral water.

Very dry in bag, a few sticks and lots of small particles (Perique, I suppose). Maybe not an everyday smoke but worth a try.

Pipe Used: GBD bent billiard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fred T Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fred T (67)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Russ hit a home run with this English blend. It's kind of like Dunhill's My Mixture 965, which I consider the gold standard in English tobacco, to which he added just the right amount of peppery perique, subtle, not overwhelming. An excellent, full-bodied blend. It gets a 4 from me.

Pipe Used: Grant Batson

Age When Smoked: 3 months

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: Dunhill 965.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Phonomet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phonomet (44)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin description is apt--a strong flavor and clean aftertaste. It's strength is in the flavor but the smoke is not harsh or strong in nicotine. I am reminded of a good gin--the scent of pine needles and herbs--but not lingering like a whisky. It burns well and the flavor is consistent from top to bottom of the bowl. It sustains strong draws without getting hot. I will be purchasing more of this and I highly recommend it, especially to lovers of latakia and orientals.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (265)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A little strong , a little spicy/ bitey, a little harsh around the edges, good "N" hit, full latakia flavor with Orientals supporting . I've never been real good at identifying the quantity of Perique, except it's here. Not bad , nothing great, a little hard to smoke at a sip or it goes out ( similar to Frog Morton burn characteristics). I'll cellar my tin for a year and see what develops, it has got to take the heat away or I will keep it at 2 stars. Seems a little pricey at only 1.5 oz. in a GIGANTIC tin.

Updated 12/25/12- I've had this cellared for 15 months and some diffrence in the heat. Flavorfull, some hot spice, smokes at a sip ,but still has a bitter harshness too it, Powerful, not a sweet smoke. I tried this back to back against "Ambassador" ( no Perique)and Ambassador is smoother. This is 2 1/2 stars but I won't buy again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rramstad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rramstad (115)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a clean smoking full Balkan. I detect a certain bit of additional flavor presumably from a topping of some sort, but it's minor and artfully applied. Dry, with lots of orientals at the start and a bit of latakia, but develops throughout into something very full flavored with depth. I do prefer other English blends, notably many of the GL Pease offerings, but this is a good one and well worth trying.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

berger_ar_fur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
berger_ar_fur (4)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

a complex spicy one but with strengh .An all day tobacco

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (75)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

As the last reviewer commented on, the synergy of the latakia and perique is quite unique.

This is a blast in-your-face complexity that marches to the rumbles of a different drum.

It brings out aspects of perique that oft go unnoticed and it makes for a good, once-in-awhile smoke for me.

Images evoked include membranal walls of gnashing teeth in front of a skeleton band with three fiddlers competing for a dark lord's favor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I have never experienced perique and latakia synergizing like this before; like other reviewers have noted here, this was an epiphanic "I just got it" kind of blend, and I have new respect for the power of perique.

Here the perique serves to do more than "zip things up," actually melding and working in concert with the other components, much as I have experienced it doing sucessfully with burley in other blends (though of course there is no burley here).

Armada is unique, powerful, and complex.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Among the Ouellette's blends I have smoked this is the one I love the least, I think it's because of the Perique. The taste of this mixture is a little confused, the latakia is overlied by the perique. The result is surely a good tobacco, but it lacks personality.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Armada is blend with a variety of varitiels that despite this variety, is well balanced. The VA stays in the background affording no tartness nor sweetness. The latakia is used as a condement should be, contributing to the aroma and taste in a positive fashion but never dominant or overbearing. The use of the perique is what ties everything together without being applied to heavy as many times happens with blends using this ST. James weed. Over all a complex and pleasent taste with no one varitiel dominating the others. Packs, lights, burns clean and smokes smooth. A tasty treat for seasoned palates.

Nobody has rated this review yet.