Nose: More estery than the 25 yrs. Chinese balloons, waves of very rich, concentrated syrup, solid honey. Pepper and clove next, with restrained peat. Needs time to open up Boiled sweets, later some unexpected rose esters on a candied background.
Palate: Ah, there's the peat - much more evident than the nose, where the syrup hides it. A gorgeous silky mouthfeel, with the sweet stuff initially, before a slick change of gear into coal, turf smoke, black pepper, clove and red chilli spice.
Finish: Drifts slowly back to honeyed malt and developing dusty oak. Fabulous.
Comment: Well, this year's Taliskers certainly don't disappoint. The 30yo is more elegant, drier, a shade less emphatic than the 25yo. In short, the 30yo is probably more sophisticated, but the 25yo is more voluptuous.
If one wanted to say which of these two stunners was really the best one would need to decide over the course of repeated tastings to do them both justice. Such comparisons are for the absurdly lucky and I don't suppose I'll get to try either of them again. But it's a beautiful idea - the malt equivalent of watching Scarlett Johannsson mud-wrestle Salma Hayek for the privilege of taking you away for a dirty weekend.