“Chartreuse, the only liqueur so good they named a color after it.” – Quentin Tarantino, Death Proof
Possibly one of the best recognized if under appreciated liqueurs on the planet. Made with 132 different herbs ( the exact recipe is split between two monks at one time who each only know half the recipe) in a Carthusian Monastery in the French Alps.The current version of Green Chartreuse dates from around 1764 after a number of modification to a original alchemical recipe from 1605. The exact history and genealogy of the Chartreuse drink family is explained fairly well in the
wikipedia – well enough that I won’t repeat it here, but definitely worth the read . Formerly distilled in copper pot stills, it is now made in stainless still column stills.
It is still aged in large wooden casks from various countries for a number of years before bottling.
Appearance : Green of course but absolutely clear with a very natural color of green derived from the chlorophll from the green parts of some of the many herbs, ( not to mention the many roots and flowers to in the mix which are used in the final product). This color is is one of the trademarks of Green Chartreuse
Taste : Almost syrup like entry, flowing slowly, almost ponderously, across the lips and tongue, followed by a jumbled charge of herbal,floral and to some degree citrus or aromatic flavors, cloves, pine, gentian, genepi, fennel, rosemary, sage, wormwood, an herbal and spice carpet bombing of your senses. This is not to mean we don’t love the stuff, it is just a very intense experience for all your senses all at once, in a good way.
Drinks : There are any number of excellent classic drinks such as a Last Word, Spring Feeling, among others maybe not so classic and talented bartenders are still using this venerable liqueur to create many new drinks as there is so much to work with and so many aspects of this liqueur that can be teased or accentuated from it.
Clear moulded glass with a slightly oblong cartouche on the shoulder spelling Chartreuse with a Globe and cross in the center , slightly bulbous neck, and taped bottom. Multicolored yet somber paper label with chartreuse green background and black with gold striped screwcap and neck wrap.
Other:I guess not everyone is a fan…
Final Thoughts: One of the most complex but nuanced spirits you will ever come across in this world or the next. A lovely complex spirit/liqueur in which like a great lover you are always discovering new delights and aspects of with each encounter.
Nicely done and well laid out, covers a fair amount of it’s long history and how to tour the museum.