It's an acquired taste and the question is whether you want to acquire it. An analogy might be if you (general you, referring to a young, inexperienced drinker, not sommelier you) are drinking tannic young American reds and it is what you associate with good times with friends and happiness by the BBQ. A 20 year old Bordeaux (or Madiran or Cahors) that has aged well and been decanted 45 minutes is still connected to that experience, but might taste off to you. A light and complex Bourgogne just tastes "weak". You could, through repeated wine tastings, learn to appreciate the well aged wine and even the Bourgogne, at which point the $5 young tannic cabernet sauvignon takes overtones of white spirit style woody harshness and you end up systematically going for beer at your friends' BBQ. Wine is expensive enough already and you need to decide for yourself whether you want to acquire another expensive hobby, or whether you are happy sipping relatively tasteless but harmless mass market spirits on the rocks. Separately, I do think Islay distilleries are following a trend towards ever greater harshness (sorry, "phenol ppm") to disguise younger, cheaper barrels being sold as premium limited editions (NAS, of course). There is a world of difference between an Octomore or Uigedail, and even an entry level Port Ellen (whatever that is in this day and age). Laphroaig 10yo CS fits that trend, and the 18 year old used to be more balanced but has gotten more watery and harsh in recent years, at least in my experience (could be hedonic treadmill). I look forward to the whisky hype dying down so that good, older Islays are once again affordable.