A Glass Apart, the first book by author and PHd candidate Fionnán O’Connor, this is often sited as a seminal text for fans of Irish whiskey and in particular Single Pot Still Irish whiskey. This text is often the first book sought by those wishing to understand more about the category of whiskey, which has made Fionnán a household name to many in the industry.
Outside of the written word, Fionnán is known for his immense passion for the history of Irish whiskey and has even represented Ireland in the European Union to share the importance of historical accuracy in the representation and regulation of modern Irish whiskey.
His passion both on and off the page gives no one reason for surprise to learn that his second book Créatúr has been in the works for the better part of a decade. Delving into the immense history uncovered through his PhD research into the agro-economic & culinary history of Single Pot Still whiskey production in Ireland, Fionnán is breathing new life to the information he has uncovered in dusty forgotten about primary manuscripts and mashbill sheets locked away in national archives for centuries.
According to Fionnán “Tracing the history of the Irish distilling tradition from its earliest primary manuscripts through the mash bills and procedures of closed Victorian distilleries to lost words for oaten poitín in the Donegal Rosses to classic 1960s bottlings to the inspiring distillers, bonders, blenders and bar-folk reshaping Irish drinks and spirits culture now, Créatúr (if you haven’t guessed) is a book about whiskey and the people who make it. And the people who made it. And the making of it too.
“It’s a book about the way we drank and the ways we just might. It’s a deoch an dorais (a drink next door). No bullshit, just the Créatúr. Along the way, we’ll be talking to some wonderful friends doing things that I admire, as well as with some folks who don’t always get a look-in: barley farmers, publicans, tillage researchers, ethnomusicologists, lab analysts, mixologists, folklorists, a Phylloxera historian, a peatland scientist, Willie Murphy, all sorts… Ultimately, Créatúr is a little bit fluid and hopefully no less pungent for it either.”
Créatúr is scheduled for publication in 2026 with photography and design undertaken by Marcus Lynam. The title itself refers to one of the more peculiar names for whiskey in the Irish langauge. According to Fionnán “Créatúr is a book about “the creature” (direct translation of Créatúr) as a creature made from raw materials, distilled by real people.”
To fund the creation of what will no doubt become a pillar publication in the future history of Irish whiskey, Fionnán and Marcus are offering a unique, one off cask share of Single Pot Still Irish whiskey, which will go live on October 31st at 8pm Irish time. This unique offering will give 400 dedicated fans of Irish whiskey a chance to become a part of the journey of Créatúr for a contribution of €250, which will include the following:
- In 2024-2025, a calendar of quarterly online chats and in-person educational events playfully named ‘The Poor Creature Hedge School‘, which will include Fionnán and Marcus chatting with distillers across the country about some of the most niche and unmarketable whiskey topics on the internet. (They mean that too.) Due to the unhelpful laws of physics, the in-person events will be subject to capacity and ticketed at a nominal running cost on a first come first serve basis. They will all be located in Ireland. These events will be a true feast for the curious and inquisitive promising to bring attendees through never before seen spirits and seldom explored topics of the industry. The in-person events will conclude when the book is published.
- In 2026, subscribers will recieve a signed and editioned copy of Créatúr, with your name included (if you want) as a supporter.
- In 2028, subscribers will receive one 500mL cask strength bottle of An Créatúr Bocht (The Poor Creature), a single cask, single pot still whiskey triple distilled by Boann Distillery from 40% Malt, 40% Raw Barley, 15% Oats, and 5% rye, left to rest in an Oloroso sherry hogshead. Bonded and bottled by our friends at Two Stacks. It was distilled as part of Fionnán’s PhD research into lost Irish mash bills, from a 1940s ledger he uncovered in the Locke’s Collection of the National Library of Ireland. In homage to a classic age statement among Irish Pot Still whiskeys of the 1940s, it will be bottled as a seven year old. It will only ever be sold as a constituent part of the Créatúr book fundraiser.
Funds raised from this cask share and book pre-order will be used directly to continue to fund the production and publication of the book Créatúr. If this sounds like something you would love to become involved in, please keep an eye on Créatúr.ie for the launch on October 31st.