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"When a feller needs a friend"

BrandHouse of Windsor
Blended ByHouse of Windsor
Blend TypeAmerican
ContentsBurley, Virginia
CutCurly Cut
Packaging1.5 oz pouch, 2 oz. tin, 10 oz. tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant, Pleasant to Tolerable
41 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

The bourbon topping is mild, but noticeable. The burley is rather plain -barely nutty and earthy - and the Virginia isn't very sweet, rather hay-like and grassy, and altogether boring. The nic-hit is very mild. It burns a little fast, and this one can give a little tongue bite because it does tend to burn hot and bitey if you puff very fast. There are some cigarette notes near and at the finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs few relights. Sutliff's Briggs Match is a little stronger with more tobacco taste, and the burley shines in that one.

5 people found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

If this is how true American, pardon my French, blue-collar tobacco should taste like, well then; Hats off! This is a nice Burley blend with a certain pine-like aroma to it; It actually tastes like fresh harpic when lit. Nutty, fresh and mild.

As opposed to Union Leader and Country Doctor, this one will not burn the tongue, which is good. As opposed also to Union Leader and Country Doctor, this one does not contain any nicotine, which is bad. Therefore the two stars.

I'm off to Granger in a couple of weeks when my shipment arrives to Denmark - I have launched "Project American Drug-Store Blends", since I reckon there might be some good stuff among those products.

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark.

4 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Very Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Pleasant

Having quite a bit of success with HOW blends in the past (Union Leader, Mapleton, Revelation, Country Doctor), I was pleased to find a 2 oz tin of this and eager to get into it. The best laid plans....

Very flat and anemic tasting blend of golden virginia and burley. This possessed a very musty odor in the tin that perfectly translated to the taste, and the blend fared miserably as a result. The flavor was mostly of old rubber mixed with uncooked lima beans. The good news is that the flavor was extremely mild, bordering on simple hot air. I managed to smoke 3 bowls of this before giving it away. The good news with this one is the exceptional room note. Very clean, not too sweet and refreshing. I certainly wouldn't mind being around someone who smoked this one, as long as I didn't have to smoke it myself.

One star blend, but as it's not nearly as foul as other one star blends, such as Mixture #79. In the realm of my one star blends, this is a 1.3 and #79 is a solid 0.6... just to provide a frame of reference. This one is best left in the halls of memory.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Now that the House of Windsor has taken over many old classics, and now that P&T magazine's Summer 2003 has featured them, I was a sucker to purchase them all. So far, I have fallen in love with Country Doctor and have great respect for Union Leader. Briggs Mixture is right up there with those two.

Briggs Mixture looks like chunky, broken up pieces of cardboard in the tin. Very unusual presentation. Very cool burning, it is straight forward in taste with little variance in flavor as you work your way down the bowl. Though topped with something, the topping is so light it is almost undetectable, but somehow enhances the flavor and made for an enjoyable and unique smoke.

"When a Feller Needs a Friend" Briggs is a great choice!

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable

I finished off a sample of this, which I assume to be a pretty old sample. It had a similar stale, almost cardboard like, taste to it. It lacked much flavor and was quite bitey. Funny though that I tried the Sutliff Match, I did pick up on some of the flavors that were in the original. So while muted, I was able to taste some of the intended flavoring. So I had to use the match to really get the original.

The match was pretty good. The key difference between the two was the burley. I found the burley taste to be dead in the original and I really think that time gets the bulk of the blame for this. Briggs is a typical American OTC blend and, like so many of these blend, it relies on the burley to carry the blend. Without it, the blend is bland and boring and this is exactly how this tastes to me.

It leaves me at a quandary of how to proceed with a star rating. I have decided to give it two stars when my sample really demands one. The extra star is in hopes that this was much better fresh than what I tasted. I could, in no way go three though. In deference to some of the other reviewers whose tastes I respect and who, I know, have tried it fresh. It just doesn't seem like it was ever a good blend. Some disappear and are not missed and it appears this is one of those blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

porterman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
porterman (5)
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

New Review on an old, out of 'print' Tobac. Back in 2006 I ordered up a sampler of HOW classic Blends, Field and Stream, Revelation, etc. The Sampler also included Briggs and for whatever reason I never opened the can and sampled this. Well fast forward to now, and was cleaning out and old box, imagine my surprise to find this..."When a feller needs a friend" . Opened the tin, nice smell, and believe it or not, it was not the desiccated corpse I expected, perfect moisture, and smokeable.

Un-burned this smells pretty good, VA, and some light topping (Bourbon?) Packed well, lit well, Taste is interesting, kinda pure tobacco flavors, with a hint of woods smoke. To me this tasted like HOW Revelation without the Latika. Kind of underwhelming but not bad. As the bowl progressed there were some definite Cigarette smells and flavors, didn't enjoy that. Overall, not a bad 'old school' find in a desk drawer.

Pipe Used: Savenelli

Age When Smoked: >9 years

Purchased From: Online

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (60)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Rather drab. I mixed it with other non-favs to make a tolerable blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

htduck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
htduck (28)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

I like Balkan, Burley, and Boswell's. "When a Fella Needs a Friend," come on, who could pass that up? Found a tin in a local pipe shop two years ago and put it into the cellar. After this summer of no rain and 112 degrees for 3 months straight the first cool front blew through and I fired up a bowl. I neeeded a good friend. My angel of a wife said it smelled pleasant but that's about all the good I can say for me personally. I gave it two stars because it is a good beginner smoke but PA and Boswell's Best Burley leaves this in the dust. I do love the tin and the art on the label. I think I'll load the tin with Spillman's and pretend. (It does pack well, burn great and leave a good clean ash.)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ronnstein Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ronnstein (20)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I smoked a pipeful of this today infact. Of the HOW blends, this is one of my favorites, as far as the nostalgic blends of yesteryear, I really like this one. Nothing too anything about it, just a nice unassuming natural tobacco taste, if you can find it, give it a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chetking Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chetking (54)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

For me Briggs is a standout light Burley, golden Virginia mixture. It is surely deserving of 3 or 4 star billing - a superior rating that many elitist or "tin" only aficionados among our ilk cannot possibly fathom providing to a lower than low "drug store" blend. Very, very taken I am with this Altadis "match" version purchased at the Habana Premium Shoppe ( in Albany, NY. Mr. Russ Ouellette, their iconic master blender, told me to come over and bring my pipe for a sample. But I trusted Russ and just for the memories bought an 8 oz. bulk sack on the spot. No buyer's remorse.

Reviewed as a House of Windsor and P. Lorillard blend on, website reports, "We've added (Briggs match) from our friends at Altadis who have taken the time to blend matching tobaccos for some of your old time favorites...previously discontinued." I must say that this is as true a replication of the Briggs "back in the day" in the early 60s when as high schoolers we stole an illicit smoke or two down behind a sub rosa place known as "The Rock."

Previous reviewers use such descriptors as "bourbon," "vegetal," "apple," "fennel" and "coriander" to describe some of the many exquisite aroma and tastes emanating from this mixture. I distinctly remember a "sweet metalic" flavour coming from my old boxed pouch, and the same secret aroma right after char light. Never thought this feller would ever need such a fond memory from an old friend. Very pleasant. Happy hunting...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Auroraboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Auroraboy (22)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Another House of Windsor revival that I really wanted to like. Came in the tin in fairly large woodchip-like chunks. Mostly uniform nutty brown. Very difficult to get lit, unfortunately, and the rather strong applejuice flavoring got in the way of any real enjoyment. No idea what the old blend was like, but at the prices they're charging, the current blend is not worth the dough.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Eonwe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eonwe (22)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Unnoticeable

I bought a 2oz tin of this stuff a couple years ago. I really wanted to like this blend as its been around a long time. after opening I was disapointed with the aroma. It smelled like dried saliva/spit (sorry thats the only way to describe it) It was extreemly dry. It almost reminded me of clumpy GrapeNuts cereal. I loaded up a very old Dr.Grabow and began my very boring smoke. I had a hard time detecting any flavor at all, other than a weak flat flavor It did burn well, a little on the quick side. Tongue bite shouldnt be a problem either, if smoked at a reasonable pace. I know that one star seems harsh, and Im well aware that many many people love this blend,but there just isnt anything here. I will stick this away in the closet, and try again someday...perhaps that will help. its not as if it could get any drier.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

09/30/2004:This one has a Burley character with the Virginia along for the ride. The flavor I detect here is one of an apple. I like the big chunks of tobacco in this blend. If you put the big pieces on the bottom when loading your pipe, the smoke will last a good long time. Did not notice any soapy or floral notes on this one. This tobac is made for a cob or a Dr. Grabow pipe while you're working in the shop or weeding the flower bed. Very good for these pursuits. This blend is nice and dry and ready to smoke. I bought the 2 oz. tin.

11/16/2006 Update: No longer smoke as there are any number of classier Burley blends available. If you are curious as to what Grandpa's drugstore blend of the 1950's tasted like give it a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigSwede Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigSwede (80)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

UpdateI admit to a fascination with the old blends. I recently scored a full tin of Briggs from back when Lorillard still made it. The original is admittedly similar to the HOW blend but the flavor is more definite and robust. More in line, regarding strength, with Union Leader. An easy uncomplicated smoke with no bite or drama. In contrast the HOW effort is very understated and one had to actually search for the flavor. The original blend's side stream and room note is closer to Crooner than anything I've found. Original review follows:

After smoking increasingly strong tobacco I had a need for something mild. I dug out my HOW can of Briggs, filled an old briar and gave it another whirl. It had dried out considerably and that made the difference: it smokes better when dry. This is the mildest tobacco I've smoked, it burns as cool as anything I've ever tried and there were no "burley bitters". The flavor is that of straight up burley and the smallest hint of a mild topping (which in the can reminds one of raisins). In my middle years I've become a minimalist and this fills the bill. Like one of the earlier reviewers I find this enjoyable as the first pipe of the day with coffee. Recommended for burley lovers who are looking for something simple and minimally flavored.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (255)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

I guess the most striking thing about this blend is my lack of reaction to it one way or the other. It isn't bad really. It's just too mild for me. It smells nice. I could see this as a working smoke, but I don't smoke while I work. Try it if like me, you are fascinated with the old- timey blends. Sometimes the nostalgia is greater than the reality.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Strong

When a "Feller" has friends like this, who needs enemies?!! Seriously this stuff was retired for a reason. It is a very boring tobacco with little taste that makes the room smell like stale cigarettes. HOW has done a marvelous job of reintroducing the old classics, but I'm afraid this sucker should have been left in its grave.

Nobody has rated this review yet.