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Vintage Chartreuse
The Monks' Elixir
In 1605, Francois Hannibal d’Estrees, marshal of the French king’s artillery, gave the Carthusian fathers
at their monastery in Vauvert, near Paris, an already ancient manuscript bearing the title "Elixir of Long
Life". Following the initial use of portions of the recipe at Vauvert, the manuscript was sent to La Grande
Chartreuse. As in all monasteries, at La Grande Chartreuse there was an apothecary, Brother Jerome
Maubec, who served the medical needs of the monastery and the residents of the local area with remedies
made from local herbs, plants, spices and other ingredients. Early in the 18th century, Brother Maubec
undertook the task of unraveling the manuscript’s complex directions for compounding the "Elixir of Long
Life." Brother Maubec died before completing this challenge but, on his deathbed, he passed what he had
learned on to his successor, Brother Antoine. Brother Antoine completed the translation of the recipe in
1737 and, although it apparently did not prolong life, with 130 herbs and spices infused into a base of 71
percent wine alcohol, it did have many curative powers. The monks became distillers of this medicinal
elixir.

Green Chartreuse - a milder and smoother form of the elixir at only 55 percent alcohol - was developed
shortly after distilling began. And, in 1838, Yellow Chartreuse - even milder, smoother and sweeter at 40
percent alcohol - was introduced.

In 1848, 30 officers from the Army of the Alps, stationed nearby the monastery, were invited to a tasting
of Yellow Chartreuse. "Reverend Father," said the group’s senior officer, "This Yellow Chartreuse is
indeed a nectar. The world must learn of its exquisite taste and its benefits to one’s health. There are 30
officers here and our duties shall carry us to many other places, many other countries. Wherever we go,
we shall demand Chartreuse. Prepare yourself to fill many bottles. "The success of these "military
salesmen" was astounding and the fame of Chartreuse liqueurs spread throughout Europe. By the
beginning of the 20th century, millions of bottles of Chartreuse liqueurs were being sold all over the world.
Even the Russian Tsar Nicolas II insisted that a bottle of Chartreuse always be on his table.
Read more.
Some previously sold bottles of vintage Chartreuse:
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Chartreuse Verte Fourvoirie 1935 - SOLD

One of the very last bottles produced in Fourvoirie right before a landslide destroyed
the distillery in November 1935
. 75cl.
Chartreuse Verte Voiron 1941-1951 - SOLD

A lovely and very well preserved half bottle of green Chartreuse from France.
Chartreuse Jaune 1878-1903 - SOLD

Very good label, very good level. This bottle dates from the period 1878-1903, but
judging from the characteristics of the glass, I believe around 1890 is most likely.
Chartreuse bottles that date, like this one, from before the time when the monks
moved to Tarragona in 1903 are of the utmost rarity. A very rare bottle in simply
astonishingly good condition.
Chartreuse Jaune and Verte circa 1951 - SOLD
Chartreuse Jaune circa 1885 - SOLD

A remarkable pair of Chartreuse Jaune half bottles, with additional Berry Bros and Rudd
labels, believed to date from around 1885. Completely unrecorded in Steinmetz's book.
Two of the most important early Chartreuse bottles in existence.
Chartreuse Jaune circa 1904 - SOLD
Chartreuse Blanche 19th Century - SOLD

The rarest Chartreuse ever produced! Less than a dozen bottles exist in the world.
Chartreuse Blanche was invented in 1860 to create a softer liquor, less expensive to
produce because uncolored. But because of the great success of the Chartreuse Jaune, the
Blanche was not selling well, they stopped producing it in 1880. They tried again in 1886
but then stopped in 1900. That’s why it’s the rarest Chartreuse on earth.
Chartreuse Verte Voiron 1941-1951 - SOLD

A very rare 75cl bottle produced in France for exportation to the USA.
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Chartreuse Jaune Tarragona 1912-1913 - SOLD

A very rare 1-litre bottle produced for exportation to the US.
Chartreuse Jaune Tarragona 1912-1913 - SOLD

A very rare 1-litre bottle produced for exportation to the UK.