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Our Story
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An International Art Project with an Irish heart

Ulysses Whiskey x Art is a unique coming together of master distillers and a literary masterpiece, resulting in a collection of 18 Limited Editions, each a highly collectable and rare whiskey, released every year on Bloomsday, June 16th.

 

Although the story of Ulysses is quintessentially Irish, it is also nomadic. Written while Joyce was in his thirties, living between Trieste, Zurich, Locarno and Paris, it was first published by Shakespeare & Co. on his 40th birthday, February 2nd, 1922.

 

For more than a decade, the book now considered the most important work of modernist literature was illegal to sell, advertise or import because it was deemed obscene. Joyce lived in exile, his supporters on the edge of the law. Thankfully with the unwavering support of his wife, Nora Joyce and help from friends such as Sylvia Beach, Harriet Weaver, Adrienne Monnier, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edward Rockefeller and many others, he managed to stay the course, and the prohibitions were eventually overturned.

One hundred years on, we can now enjoy Ulysses in more than 30 languages, through film, theatre, audio books and of course Bloomsday (the day on which the plot of the entire book unfolds; and is the only annual celebration of a work of art in the world!). Bloomsday 2022 was celebrated across 4 continents, in multiple languages ranging from Vietnamese, Indonesian and Japanese to Portuguese, Hungarian and Croatian.

Leaning into this legacy of Ulysses’ geographic diversity and challenging of norms, we are sourcing Irish, Italian, Swiss, French, German, Czech, English, Scottish, Japanese, Indian, Norwegian and American whiskey (and more) for the 18 Episodes of this limited-edition series.

Inspired by and named for each of the 18 Episodes of the novel, every one-of-a-kind annual release will be a work of art, brought to life by the super-premium spirits hand-selected from our exclusive partner distillers around the world.

Experience an Artistic Odyssey 

The 1st Episode will be released on Bloomsday, June 16th 2024, and will consist of only 5,000 bottles for the whole world, and all time. Every following year this number will be reduced by 250 bottles; the final release in the year 2041 will consist of only 730 bottles (to correspond with the number of pages in the first publication). Consequently, there can only be 730 collections of the series of all 18 bottles.

We are striving to be as creative, relevant and daring as possible with each Episode, both to honor Joyce’s work, and to make it entertaining for the community we hope to inspire with this project.

Each distillers’ unique contribution will be immortalized during the next 18 years and bottled with unique labels designed each year by the worlds preeminent packaging design agency, Stranger & Stranger.

With a nod to Joyce’s pioneering use of stream of consciousness, the final bottling (in 2041) will be the same liquid as the 1st, albeit aged in casks 18 years longer; the 4th German (in 2027), 6th French (in 2029), 7th Czech (in 2030) and 9th Japanese (in 2032) will celebrate the centenary of each translation; the 11th Episode (in 2034) will be American whiskey, to celebrate the centenary of the overturning of the ban on Ulysses – this particular whiskey will be a peated single malt, so you can smell and taste the US Post Office burning the books in 1922 when you drink it! And so on…

Ulysses Whiskey x Art is a journey. By joining this journey, you’ll enter a portal of discovery where the world of art, rare whiskey and literature collide, making you part of an vibrant community united by a shared passion, and giving you ownership of something truly unique.

“I care not if I live but a day and a night,
so long as my deeds live after me.”

― James Joyce
the first language Ulysses was translated into was German. It was a three-volume deluxe numbered edition, which was sold by subscription only. To subscribe, you had to be over twenty-five years of age, and be able to prove that you had a serious literary interest. No conditions were imposed on medical doctors of any age.
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