Serious Eats: Talk

Need advice about scotch

I want to get a gift for my academic advisor (finally finished my Master's!) to give him at graduation. I've been told he's a serious scotch drinker. But... I don't know the first thing about buying scotch.
What do I buy him? Brand? Blended? Single Malt? Any specific stores to go to (NYC area, please)? Cost is a consideration, but not a huge one. It is an important gift, after all.

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