Originally Posted by Brussell
If he likes Green Label, that would be the safest bet, actually. You know he likes it and it's in your price range. Also, it was cancelled just last year so the last bottles of it are probably going on the shelf right now. You could give it to him with the caption "one of the last..."
Johnnie Walker Gold label is my favorite JW blend. It is very similar in taste to the $200 Blue Label. Gold Label is around $70-90 in most places.
Another option is to ask him what he likes. Ask if he likes smoky scotch, if he really likes smoke, get him Laphroaig or Ardbeg 10; if he only likes a hint of smoke (like Green Label has) get him Highland Park 15.
A lot of people like Glenlivet, but I don't and the 12 year is below your price range (he'd probably know it). Glenfiddich 15 is okay but not worth the price to me, and their 12 year is extremely common and in the lower price range. It is a good entry whisky, smooth, but not very unique.
My favorites for that price: highland park 12-15, Macallan 12 (NOT the "Fine Oak" version, but the one in the dark red box), any Glenmorangie except the "original", Balvenie 15 Year single cask (wonderful stuff), and Dalmore 12.
This is a great post and noting that you didn't care much for the Glenlivet or Macallan 12 Fine Oak means that we've got at least a little common ground in preferences.
I guess I'll be looking to try the non-Fine Oak version, as already previously suggested to me, as well as both Gold and Green Label, when I get the chance.