Thank you Nick for your honest and prompt answer. I was truly interested int his topic, and not trying to pick a disagreement here.
The love of smoky flavours is much a matter of taste. On the other hand, there is a historical link to producing smoky whiskies. What is interesting is that due to the rising popularity of such, more and more whisky distilleries experiment (again, and this time on purpose) with producing smoky varieties, to our delight or horror.
Certainly barrels play a part most important in how the whisky comes out. I've had a Backadder Bowmore which tasted as if someone had trashed several hundred cigarette stumps along with their ashes to the whisky, this was NOT a treat in my opinion! It was just ash, ash, and bitter, burnt flavour.
With Caol Ila, I havent found much problems, mainly some whiskies have been smokier than others, while others are more briny, but all have been good money vs. quality.
One indie-bottled Ardbeg has left me to wondering what they have done to the whisky to so effectively remove all traces of Ardbeg from it. No smoke, no flavour, flatness.