Here we have two less common bottlings of Talisker (one of my personal favorite distillers). Both are distinctly Talisker, yet have enough character on their own to deserve a comparison. Both fairly boozy bottled at 45.8% ABV like the 10yr and 18yr.
Talisker Distiller's Edition
Distilled in 1996. Bottled in 2008.
Appearance: Quite caramelly. Questionable usage of artificial coloring like Talisker's standard bottlings. Fairly oily. Moderately filtered.
Nose: Neat, fairly boozy, good dose of peat and salt. Not unlike the 10yr. With a bit of water, it instantly turns into toffee. Like candy. Malty. A hint of cask (most likely Sherry).
Taste: Neat, the arrival is quite Sherried. Plenty of alcohol burn. Large amounts of peat. Finishes quite salty. With a bit of water, it's more subdued. The sherry sweetness is more rounded out. Still tons of peat and salt. It's like the 10yr only slightly Sherried and less chili.
Talisker 175th Anniversary
A "blend" of hand selected casks to commemorate Talisker's 175th Birthday. Bottled in 2005.
Appearance: Barely lighter in color than the DE. Slightly less oily as well.
Nose: Neat, just as boozy. More gentle than the DE. Definitely smell more Sherry than the DE. With a bit of water, it's almost delicate. Sherry is pronounced. Hint of toffee.
Taste: Neat, the arrival is "winy"... not quite Sherry, but present from start to finish. Spicy and chili, but not as much as the 10yr. Not nearly as salty either. With a bit of water, it gets even "winier" with a good marriage of the peat and spice. Finishes slightly dry.
All in all, great offerings from Talisker but my heart stays with the 10yr and 18yr due to the heavier dose of peat/salt/spice and lack of Sherry sweetness.
NOTE: My understanding and ability to differentiate casks is quite piss poor. I can barely identify Sherry vs. Bourbon (vs. maybe Madeira) unless it's glaringly obvious.