Based on the book 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die by Ian Buxton. This book is a great way to expand your whiskey knowledge, leading you to try a little bit of everything. The author worked hard to make sure the whiskies that appear in this book were neither too rare or too expensive to try (with a few notable exceptions).
A list of a few whiskies to try in order to get started. These will introduce you to a handful of good common whiskies. To really get a good start, try one of the bourbons, one of the ryes, one of the Scotch blends. Then try one Scotch from the various regions. When you've finished, you should have a good idea of what you like. Do you like the smoothness of the blends, the complexity of the Highlands or Speysides? The smokiness of the Islay or Island bottles? The sweetness of the bourbons? The strength of the rye? This should help you pick out other whiskies to try next.
Try these bottles to get a good beginning on bourbon
Try these bottles to start your single malt education.
Here is a collection of bottles from around the world. They aren't rare, you should be able to get your hands on them, but they will show you diversity of whiskey that is being created in other parts of the world.
Based on their names, these bottles sound dangerous.
Try a few bottles that you'll really feel.
If you wanted to try some whiskies made from something unique or flavored specially, this is your list.