Beginner’s scotch

Scotch drinkers: What’s a decent, inexpensive and readily available single malt or good blend for a brand-new scotch drinker whose current dram of choice is a good dark sipping rum?

I don’t want something pretending to be bourbon, but I don’t want to overwhelm with iodine and peat either. Probably some sort of Speyside or Lowland, I guess. My own tastes head toward the spicy and peaty and I sometimes have a hard time telling the difference between a good mellow scotch and a boring one.

The intended recipient tried the Glenlivet after he’d had a lot of other things and was surprised by the strength but otherwise seemed to enjoy it and was interested in trying other Scotches. I could just get another bottle of Glenlivet, but it’s a bit ordinary and generally-available, and besides, he’s already tried that.

Also, any suggestions on how to safely mail/ship a bottle of Scotch are welcome too.

(I also asked metafilter, if you want to see some other feedback on this one.)

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