(96-100) Points - Wine Enthusiast
The Chartreuse Order of the Carthusian monks was founded in 1084, which makes it one of the oldest religious orders in Christianity. The Order was more than 500 years old when, in 1605, they received a special gift: a manuscript titled "An Elixir of Long Life". A long and complex recipe, it was not fully studied until 1737 by the monastery's apothecary. After intensely studying the manuscript and performing a series of test runs, Chartreuse Elixir was finally created!
This "liqueur of health" was distributed into small villages in the area. People were so fond of it that they drank it as a beverage, rather than taking it as medicine. Realizing this, the monks made a milder beverage, which we know today as "Green Chartreuse". Presently, only two monks have been entrusted by the Order with the production secrets of Chartreuse. Over 130 herbs, plants, roots, and leaves are incorporated into a base of wine alcohol, but no one except those two men know how to prepare the ingredients.
In 1838, the Chartreuse distillers developed a sweeter and milder form of the original recipe. Since it was no longer a vivid green, this new liqueur was identified as, and is known today as, "Yellow Chartreuse". On the nose, pronounced aromas of bramble, fennel, and licorice is backed by a pleasant sweetness. Floral and herbal notes on the palate are complemented by hints of sage, saffron, elderberry, anise, licorice, and thyme. Chartreuse Yellow V.E.P. has been given special treatment, allowing it to reach exceptional quality. It is made with the same secret formula as the traditional liqueur, but it has been subjected to long periods of aging in oak casks. The V.E.P. is produced in a very limited quantity with a wax-sealed cork, a back-label wax-stamped with the Chartreuse seal, and presented in a wooden box marked with a branding iron. Every bottle is identified by it's own number.
Product of France
Alcohol by Volume: 42%