Memoir of an Unconventional Life
In 2005 a tin box was pulled from above a fireplace in a dilapidated cottage in County Waterford, Ireland. Unlocked, but sealed by dusty time, the builder opened it with a chisel. A pencil portrait of a woman, another of a child, newspaper clippings, a crucifix, a prayer book, a nibbed pen, a tiny bottle of ink, pencils, charcoal and several notebooks were clues to a life lived a century before.
The objects were interesting but treasure lay in the yellowing pages of handwritten notes and drawings. Journal, ideas pad and sketch book, each notebook’s thin leaves revealed more of Tom Muldoon. Collectively an unintended memoir of an unconventional life of mixed fortunes and a love affair with Irish whiskey, natures’ medicine and herbal cures.
the taste of wild hazelnuts and toffee
Among the notes on remedies was a recipe for sweet whiskey. The written comments claimed the curative powers of Irish whiskey elevated with wild hazelnuts and toffee. For centuries people believed that hazelnuts had mystical powers. Their branches were used as divining rods to locate underground springs and minerals while the ancient Romans burned hazel torches as fertility tokens during wedding nights. Even doctors and herbalists used hazelnuts to treat the common cold and persistent coughs. Soon the numerous diary-like entries divulged Muldoon’s motivation for such a concoction. Sadly, he had watched helpless as his wife Hannah died from Tuberculosis at just 23, leaving Tom with their only daughter Ellie, just 2 years old. The toffee and hazelnut whiskey was designed as medicine for those not overly fond of a harsh whiskey taste.
an amazing taste experience
Tom Muldoon made whiskey in traditional moonshine fashion, putting the alcohol in charred casks and burying them in the ground to mature. There was a little hand drawn map of this spot in one notebook. With great anticipation the area was dug up. There was some evidence of buried wood, but alas, no whiskey. Sometime later with the recipe intact and a small barrel, a fun experiment was performed, buried and largely forgotten about until the summer 2012. On opening the cask a new taste was discovered and realising how good it was, those involved abandoned everything to create MULDOON. We won’t claim curative powers, but we confidently boast an amazing taste experience that was almost lost to forgotten history.