Actually, you definitely will not be getting away from the phenolics with the Laphroaig QC. That's just a flavor/aroma that you either love or hate. (Or in my case, came to love over time.) As to whiskies such as Octomore, I'm of two minds about super hyper-peated malts. While I enjoy tasting them, I often find myself asking, "What's the point?" Any fool can over-peat a whisky, just as any brewer can over-hop an IPA. But to achieve a unique characteristic that is in harmony with the rest of what's in the glass is the sign of a true classic, in my book. Which is why Ardbeg Uigeadail has so much appeal to me. But others will no doubt see it differently.
I certainly wouldn't disagree with you. The Octomores (despite what some writers may say), IMHO, are a one-trick pony......but a damned good one. The Octomore Orpheus 2.2 at 140ppm is one of my favorite highly peated Islays but often carries a price tag that is difficult to justify. If you ever get the chance to try it, I'd recommend doing so. They're a very unique one-trick pony.
"The last time I turned down a whiskey, I didnít understand the question."