On 23rd October 2017 building work finally began on our new distillery in Ballyduff, Co Waterford. It felt like a long time coming, in truth, it was just over three years since I started working full-time.

Before: The Hardware Store, Ballyduff Upper

We will spend over one million euros on the building which is due to open in the summer of 2018, so we thought that a little celebration was overdue. That’s where Retronaut comes in.

Over the next few years, Retronaut is the brand under which we will bring to market outstanding examples of Irish Whisky. Each release will mark a milestone in our development.

So where has the first liquid come from? There are a couple of ways to play this; you invent stuff, or you tell the truth…

  1. We could have fudged the provenance of this whiskey, stuck it in a herring barrel for a couple of months and claimed all kinds of miracles, sea/river breeze… hand-selected wood finish… virgin birth… OR
  2. Explain how found an old butter churn at the back of the building, which turned out to be a time machine. We climbed inside and were sent back to 1999 where we bought a lot of new make spirit, we hid it, then got back in the time machine, raced back to the present and bottled it.

There is a third option, but it’s boring: Explain that due to a non-disclosure agreement, I am not permitted to say where the whiskey came from.

Choose your own truth.

Either way this first bottling was released to coincide with work starting on our new home. It’s a wonderful 17-year-old single malt, unpeated and matured 100% in bourbon wood. No caramel, no chill-filtering. Reduced to strength with local water passed through our artisinal RO system, to strip the bejayus out of it, so pure H2O.


As for any other questions you may have:

Why no ‘e’? Because a universal ‘e’ in Irish Whiskey is a hangover from the days of an Irish whiskey monopoly. Time to shake things up baby!

Fit the First? Blame H.G. Wells

When’s Fit the Second? Spring 2018

How many bottles? Only 1160, 70cl @ 46% alc/vol