Nine Middle of the Road Whiskies


What can you say about the middle of the road? It’s not the beginning nor the end. Not the best nor the worst. Not a great place to be standing with traffic rushing by. Safe, average and not flashy. Maybe a safe way to drive when near an edge of a cliff. Boring but not the worst. The Beatles sang “why don’t we do it in the road?’ Did they mean the middle? Oddly enough there was a pop-rock group in the early 1970s from Scotland called “Middle of the Road.” Who knew?

Well, this foolishness can go on for pages, but let’s not!

I recently wrote about my latest tippling foray at a whisky festival…17 whiskies tippled, many yearned for, some completely overlooked. Found a few I will definitely purchase, such as Kilchoman 2008 Limited Release, Aberlour A’bunadh Batch 52 and Single Cask Nation Glen Elgin 18 YO 2nd fill bourbon hogshead. Yet, there were nine whiskies that I tried that simply said, “middle of the road” to me. None were god-awful and I wouldn’t say absolutely don’t waste your money on any of them. BUT, it makes me wonder. Am I becoming too zeroed in on specific countries, regions, big peat, no peat, lots of sherry, no sherry? Should I get a sample of each of the nine and retest them alone, side by side, over the course of several days?


Such is the quandary of my whisky life.  How deep in can I go, should I go? I want to try them all, but we know that will never happen…money, time, common sense, etc.  OK, so I primarily taste-seek out-purchase Scotch whisky and a smattering of everyone else, with the booming USA whiskey products that are assaulting the market taking up the rear. (I want to catch up somehow.)

Am I becoming a fickle consumer, bored with the recognizable names? Rigid in my likes and dislikes? Do I need to focus on the outliers hovering just under the surface of world fame and domination? Should I attempt to write another book about whisky? (It has been one year since I self-published; time flies.)

I read blogs and more blogs by other enthusiasts across the world. Their words compel me to try new whiskies, learn more, share more and enjoy this passion. (Thank you bloggers.) Introducing new whiskies or whisky for the first time to others is stimulating and rewarding. I don’t want to get caught in the middle of the road. Ha! That’s it!  I want to find the edge and keep it sharpened.

Why did I call the nine whiskies middle of the road? The jury is still out, but in the meantime…..fellow enthusiasts, let me know how you rank the following whiskies – middle of the road or otherwise. Tell me what I am missing, if anything, from your point of view. My ranking is 1 to 4, with 1 being absolutely don’t purchase, 2 – middle of the road, 3 and 4 good and wow, must have. Occasionally I add a + or a – to my ranking.

Glen Grant 16 YO

Glencadam 21 YO

Tullibardine 500 PX Sherry Cask

Forty Creek – all four expressions

Crown Royal Northern Harvest (whiskey of the year, really?)

Hibicki Harmony

All opinions respected.  I raise a glass!




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