Canon L lenses are top quality pieces throughout the line. They typically have wide apertures (fixed throughout the zoom range for most L zoom lenses). Canon L lenses share a rugged build quality. The build quality combined with wide minimum apertures usually result in Canon L lenses being heavy.
The image quality of the Canon L lenses is generally as good as it gets. Contrast, sharpness, color, bokeh (background/foreground blur quality), flare, CA (Chromatic Aberration) ... All are excellent. Full Frame camera body owners will especially find L series lenses to be (on average) significantly sharper toward the edges of the frame compared to lesser lenses.
In general, Canon L series lenses focus fast. The wide maximum apertures (smallest number) and fast, quiet USM motors (Ultrasonic Motors) enhance focusing speed. The Canon 85mm f/1.2L USM Lens and the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro Lens are two exceptions to this rule.
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