I've only tried Cao Ila once at a restaurant, but I wasn't blown away. I actually was a bit disappointed, but I know quite a few really enjoy it, so maybe my experience isn't typical.
However, I find Laphroaig to be completely engaging, I've never once had Laphroaig and not been completely blown away the entire time I was enjoying it. Sight, smell, flavor, it completely engages all the senses. It's by far my favorite Islay, and one of my favorites all around.
That said, typically I see Cao Isla going for about $15-$25 more per bottle than I see Laphroaig, so either it's a smashing deal for the Cao Ila, or the Laphroaig is priced a bit high. If it's a great deal on the Cao Ila, that might be a factor.
Hi from Western CO!
Nothing better than a Single Malt flask while on a chairlift