My first reaction is that a $125 bottle for someone accustomed to drinking Dewars White Label may be a bit much. Don't get me wrong, there are some excellent Scotch Whiskies out there in that range, but you could probably spend a little less, and it would still be a huge jump up in quality from White Label.
But, to answer YOUR question first, here is a few suggestions:
* Glenrothes 1985: If you can find it, it is in the $115-125 range. It is one FANTASTIC whisky. It is not all too different that it would be a "love-it-or-hate-it" variety. It is a smooth, refined, delicious sipping whisky.
* Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX: Of the range of whiskies offered by Glenmorangie, this is my favorite. I like it more than the 18yr. I have not tasted the Astar, so it might be better. The Sonnalta PX goes for around $100. I am not positive on the price, as I have not bought a full bottle.
* Glenfarclas 17yr: My absolute favorite Glenfarclas is their 15yr, but it is only available in the UK/Europe. I loved it so much, I ordered a couple bottles from the UK and paid the high shipping cost. However, the 17yr that is available in the US is "pretty close", or so I have heard. I have not personally tasted the 17yr. But if it is ANYTHING like the 15yr, it is good-to-go. It goes for around $100.
* Highland Park 18yr: This one is a lot different than the previous whiskies, in that it has more regional flavor from the Isle of Orkney. It is one of my absolute favorite whiskies. Here are some of my tasting notes:
Nose: Sweet -n- salty are the first aromas that hit me. Smoke, and really nice peat notes. The subdued peat is complemented by the sea air on the nose. The sweet smoke is growing. Apples & pears: freshly sliced & sprinkled w/ cinnamon. Slight ginger?
Body: Lively, with a firm mouth feel.
Palate: Warming spice, w/ sweet Honeycrisp apples dipped in caramel. Smokiness. Salt & pepper.
Finish: Sweet smoke! This is a real winner. Smooth w/ spice, lingering on the long finish.
Intensely satisfying. This whisky adds a layer of smokiness to what is otherwise my favorite profile: sweet & spicy.
Highland Park 18yr goes for around $80.
* Aberlour 18yr: If you really want to spend the extra, the Aberlour 18yr goes for right around $100, whereas the Aberlour 16yr goes for $55-60. Both are excellent, but the 18yr will give you a more subdued profile, highly refined, and delicious. The 16yr is a bit more bold. I have both, and enjoy each immensely.
* Johnnie Walker Gold Label: This is a very good whisky, but for the money ($80), I would go with one of my other suggestions. However, if you absolutely cannot find any of the ones I have recommended, the Gold Label shouldn't be too hard to find, and it is very good.
* Macallan 18yr: This is a very good whisky, but frankly it is a bit overpriced at $140. However, it is pretty easy to find, and everyone who drinks Scotch knows the name "Macallan". In addition, it is an 18yr old whisky, which makes a lot of people impute more value to the whisky (even though age isn't everything.) If it **** for $80, I would have a full bottle of it. As it is, I do not. However, it would make a great gift.
* Balvenie 21yr Portwood: Ok, when I am shopping for something (let's say a TV), I have a price range in my mind what I want to spend. However, I always want to see what I could get if I spent a little less, and what I could get if I spent a little more. This makes me sure I am buying the right TV for me, and getting the best value for my money. So, I have showed you whiskies in your price range, lower than your price range, and here's the one that's slightly over your price range. The Balvenie 21yr is probably the best whisky I have ever tasted. It sells for around $150-170. I think I paid $180 after taxes for my last bottle. It is an incredibly balanced, easy to drink, smooth and refined, delicious whisky. It also comes in a very nice presentation box, and is a beauty to behold. This is the bottle I bought for a very special occasion last Christmas.