At our pub we always used to start first-time-whisky drinkers on Dalwhinnie, which we fondly call “a lady’s whisky” – light and sweet. But following a recent blind tasting, we now also introduce newbies to An Cnoc - creamy, light, vanilla-ish and very drinkable.
For a first few I’d prolly also include:
Edradour 10 - cos I get a great taste of custard from it
Also people who are new to whisky are finding things out, and they can learn it’s from the smallest Scottish distillery – it’s nice to feed ppl’s learning.
Auchentoshan or Bruichladdich – so they learn that the impossible-looking words aren’t unpronounceable after all, and sometimes it’s worth persevering with the strange names to get a nice dram
Talisker – just to introduce them to peat and gauge their reaction before progressing to Ardbeg & Lagavulin.
Also it depends on what the person already drinks – if they drink Jack Daniels, I’ll try them with Highland Park 12. If they drink brandy, I’ll suggest something warming, sherried, and a bit more oomph than our starter whiskies - maybe Macallan or Mortlach 16.