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.
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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