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Las Vegas, Nevada
January 10 - 13, 2003


The PLOWED Clan is currently selecting a selection of their finest drams and packing (massive amounts of B-1) for our 4th annual ritual gathering in Las Vegas scheduled to kickoff in less than a week!  As usual, the malt list is stunning with ~170 different drams being offered by the participating PLOWEDsters for sharing - the final count of  the "declared" contributions of our traditionally favorite drams as of January 8 are as follows:

  • Ardbeg - 18

  • Springbank - 16

  • Longrow - 6 

  • Port Ellen - 11

  • Brora - 11

We have of course added the Brora to our standard count of Ardbegs and Springers because the PLOWED Society is bottling a 30 year old cask distilled in 1972 shortly, and we have been dramming quite a bit of Brora lately in anticipation.  Final details are in progress and we hope to have this bottling in hand within a few months.  Sister Haggis and I had an opportunity to sample the two cask samples at Loco's house in December and although both were very good, we chose the same sample as the rest of the PLOWED ringleaders.  Very psyched...  this bottling will definitely be in the same class as the earlier Springbank and Ardbeggeddon PLOWED bottlings.

Just prior to the start of A4 the pitbull of PLOWEDsterisms - OSFX - offered an overview of the origin if the Ardbeggeddon ceremony on the PLOWED discussion board (watch this forum for field updates and brutal taunting of the AWOL PLOWEDsters during A4).    Of course I immediately FOAFed it and offer it for wider consumption at this link.  Well done! 

OSFX provided one of the primary themes of Ardbeggeddon 4 in this bit of scripture:

The Time of Liver Punishment (from the Book of OSFX)

In his pre-Ardbeggedon meditation, OSFX introduces the concept of the "evil liver that must be punished".   was a very enjoyable riff that was one of the thematic foundations for the clan gathering...   As anyone who has encountered PLOWED would have guessed, we took this concept and ran it ragged over the 4 day tasting.  If anything I probably damaged my liver from laughing too hard.  This one has some legs...  the time of liver punishment will certainly be back...   As you can see from this Sunday photo, the tasting was a tremendous success...  


A very troubling uncertainty we are dealing with this year are the new airline security rules that were implemented on January 1, 2003 as dictated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - now in control of security at US airports.  Here are some of the rumors we've heard from either the airlines, the TSA itself or various websites:

  1. Carryon limit of 2 bottles and none allowed in checked luggage (call to Alaska Airlines - nothing found on their website though)

  2. No changes at all in carryon or checked baggage (call to United Airlines reservations on 1/3/02)

  3. No liquor in carryon bags at all (because flammable) but no limits in checked baggage (call to the TSA) - however, faxed documents from TSA (identical to the linked page) did not state this new restriction in any manner at all...   hmmmm....   The fellow I spoke to emphatically stated that no liquor is now allowed in carryon bags at all.  I'll call again on Monday to see if I get the same story...

  4. 5 liter limit on alcohol as long as strength does not exceed 70% (OAG and DGControl) - not a problem with any single malts I've ever seen...

  5. Only unopened (in original packing) bottles in carryon luggage and all opened bottles in checked luggage (Portland, Maine Jetport)

  6. Importation limit of 60 proof-liters on alcohol (1 proof-liter = 1 liter at 50%) - a slight problem for the aggressive FoaFer (US Customs rule).  No bottles to exceed 70% (flammability issue)- not a problem with any single malts yet...  (courtesy of FoaF - PLOWED's Aggressive Intercontinental FOAFer)

Total Chaos!  Uncharacteristically  I'm NOT pleased... 

Some folks are shipping their whisky out in advance while others are carrying it as usual.  I haven't decided yet and will confer with Loco Barley sometime today to discuss how we will get our contributions onsite.  I'm leaning towards bringing it in a hard-sided carryon that I can check if needed.  I'll post a summary of our collective experience here after we arrive in Las Vegas.

Update - no one had any problems bringing liquor onto airplanes either way.  I'd recommend bringing any malts with you as carryon since you can't lock your checked luggage anymore.  See the discussion on Friday 

We'll post live onsite updates from Chaos Central using the links below:

Photo Dump by Day - ALL photos without any review:  testing JAlbum freeware!

I haven't seen the roster of PLOWED Ringleaders who will be in attendance this year but those I have spoken to are totally psyched as usual.   This is going to be another amazing event - I'm particularly interested in escaping from the mountains of snow we've already received here in Maine this year.   Stay tuned - total lunacy right around the corner!  

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Last update on 1/20/03