The absolute configuration of (+)-neopentyl-1-d alcohol, prepared by the reduction of 2,2-dimethylpropanal-1-d by actively fermenting yeast, has been determined to be S by neutron diffraction. The neutron study was carried out on the phthalate half ester of neopentyl-1-d alcohol, crystallized as its strychnine salt. The absolute configuration of the (-)-strychninium cation was first determined by an x-ray anomalous dispersion study of its iodide salt. The chiral skeleton of strychnine then served as a reference from which the absolute configuration of the -O-CHD-C(CH3)3 group of neopentyl phthalate was determined. Difference Fourier maps calculated from the neutron data showed unambiguously that the -O-CHD-C(CH3)3 groups of both independent molecules in the unit cell had the S configuration. This work proves conclusively that the yeast system reduces aldehydes by delivering hydrogen to the re face of the carbonyl group. Crystallographic details: (-)-strychninium (+)-neopentyl-1-d phthalate, space group P2(1) (monoclinic), a = 18.564(6) A, b = 7.713(2) A, c = 23.361(8) A, beta = 94.18(4) degrees, V = 3336.0(5) A3, Z = 2 (T = 100 K). Final agreement factors are R(F) = 0.073 for 2768 reflections collected at room temperature (x-ray analysis) and R(F) = 0.144 for 960 reflections collected at 100 K (neutron analysis).