Hearth & Home Armada

(3.20)
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.

Details

Brand Hearth & Home
Series Signature Series
Blended By Russ Ouellette
Manufactured By Pipes & Cigars
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Mixture
Packaging 1.5oz Tin, Bulk
Country United States
Production No longer in production

Profile

Strength
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
None Detected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Tolerable
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Medium to Full
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.20 / 4
7

10

3

0

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 20 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 28, 2017 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
This is an interesting blend. This is the second blend I have reviewed from Russ O.'s Hearth & Home selections. The Virginia stays in the background. The Latakia is there but it is not that noticeable either. What really comes out is the Oriental/Turkish and the Perique. In fact, it's just a little to much for my taste. That's not to say it's not a fine blend...because it is. For someone who likes Oriental and Perique, it should be your go to blend. Packing was just fine, but there were quite a few relights. But when all said and done it left a grey ash and no dottle left behind. But for me it is just a tad to strong. However, I'm still inclined to rate it a 4. It is put together very nicely. Even though it's on the strong side it's still a fine tobacco.
Pipe Used: Peterson 1866 remake
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & Cigars
Age When Smoked: Fresh
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 09, 2014 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
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 15, 2005 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.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 09, 2014 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.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 22, 2005 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.

Namaste?
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 19, 2005 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.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 15, 2006 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.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 16, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant
I enjoy this tobacco tremendously, the rich smoky smell of the tobacco is amazingly satisfying to me. To me there's a symphony of flavors going on here. From the rich smokiness to the incense like aroma. This tobacco is peppery and earthy with tones of dark fruits yet notes of sweet brightness that pop through. All in all a well balanced smoke that never disappoints.
Pipe Used: Missouri. Meerschaum Mark Twain
PurchasedFrom: Pipes &cigars
Age When Smoked: 1 month
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 02, 2015 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)
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & Cigars .com
Age When Smoked: just delivered this morning
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 20, 2015 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
PurchasedFrom: Pipesandcigars
Age When Smoked: New
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 06, 2015 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
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: 3 months
1 person found this review helpful.
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