There are definitely people who really enjoy that kind of smoke/medicinal/mineral flavor. I don't particularly care for it. Even in scotch.
I suspect much of the peat smoke in Scottish beer theory came from something somebody read one time in something about the historical production of those beers in which brewers were using malt from a distillery that used peat malt because it was all that was available. Not really a good source for modern renditions of the styles.
I've also heard people say that the alleged smoke flavor is a product of the water, which I suppose might be true in certain parts of Scotland but not true of all Scottish brewing regions. I'd like to know which particular beers or regions are identified as containing that character.