Michael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch has rated this quite well over his first 6 editions. And in that time there have been some changes both in his ranking, in the spelling - 'caoLiLa' in the first edition 1989 - at least in the 12 year old, and a change in the Alc in 1989 of 40% to today's 43%. He had high praise all along but numerically started with 77 and in my 6th edition has gone to 83. I could find the word 'peaty' only mentioned in the 1st edition with the caveat "- without being as intense as its more famous counterparts".
Although I am a fan of peaty styled single malts I find the Caol Ila has just that breath of peat along with numeous background notes so as to make this a haunting malt - at least an 85. My goal is to have this seaside malt always as a standby for those friends whose taste is pure.