I have tried both Taliskers, though only have notes on the 25yo at hand. Reading these, it was a bit of what you would expect from a Talisker, spices, plenty of pepper and cough syrup but with more of a sweetness. On the nose a mixed bag from butchers shop to dried cereals to the harbour side. Overall it was quite raw and the alcohol screams out!
The 20yo If i remember was from refill sherry casks. I tried this in a blind tasting and thought highly of it. I find Talisker a difficult malt to gauge, especially at older ages as there is not much out there. Some OMC bottles under the name Tactical which might reach the US. I think if given the choice I would go for the 20yo.
However, and I know its Talisker you are asking about, but, the Caol Ila 25yo bottled 2004 was a stunner. If your store stocks this then it would beat the Taliskers hands-down, IMHO. I am sure you will get more postings to help you decide here though.
I mentioned the Caol Ila 25yo as it was released the same time as the Talisker 25yo and by the same distillers, shame its not out there.
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The Talisker 20 sherry is the best whisky I've tried so far. The other 20 yo is a bit behind but still a really good whisky.
I have also tried 2 different bottlings of the 25 yo. 1st edition bottled in 2001 and 4th edition bottled in 2004.
20 yo sherry 95p
20 yo bourbon 91 p
25 yo 1st ed 89p
25 yo 4th ed 86p
I tried them all at the same time together with Talisker 10, Talisker DE 1990 and Talisker 18. I hold the Talisker 18 for a little better than 25 yo 4th edition with 87 p.
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