Rob P nailed it - twice. Both of those are fine single malts, for the beginner or otherwise. I have both on hand and enjoy them immensely.
Well, maybe I should re-phrase that. When I was working, I could afford to pay $40.00 for a bottle of single malt. Now that I am retired, I am less willing to indulge in that level of extravagance. :Eyecrazy: McClellands sells for $21.95/19.95 in Oregon. And I think the Oregon Liquor Board is ripping us off! McClellands also makes a Highland and a Speyside. Trader Joe's sells an Islay malt under their own name called Finlaggan. Waiting for the day Trader Joe's can sell hard liquor in Or.I'm a fan of McClelland's Islay. At just under $40.00 a bottle it's dirt cheap when compared to other offerings.
+1 I'm with Middlecalf...Go north. Highland Park 12 to start. When you start putting $'s in the bank you can move up to HP18, then when you retire enjoy HP25.