Chartreuse Trivia

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Drew Goin
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Chartreuse Trivia

#1 Post by Drew Goin » April 8th, 2017, 6:29 am

I loved Chartreuse in my early 20's. I still have an empty 1Lt bottle of the VEP "Yellow" Chartreuse with the accompanying box on my bookshelf (someone stole the last ounce of my "Green" VEP, along with the packaging).

Having said all of this, I am attaching a couple of links related to this incredible beverage:

• From Mr Harvey W. Wiley's
Beverages And Their Adulteration Origin, Composition, Manufacture, Natural, Artificial, Fermented, Distilled, Alkaloidal And Fruit Juices:

http://chestofbooks.com/food/beverages/ ... reuse.html

• In a recent Wine & Spirits magazine article, the method of determining the actual bottling date of Chartreuse is shared:

"In fact, there’s a way to date Chartreuse bottlings of the last 25 years, says Tim Master, Chartreuse specialist for the importer Frederick Wildman. 'Since the early 1990s, a six-digit code has been printed on each bottle’s neck label,' he explains. 'If you add 1084 (the date of the order’s founding) to the first three digits, you get the year it was bottled.' Thus the code from this year’s bottles begins with 932."

http://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com/n ... chartreuse

My VEP bottle has the numeric code "Exemplaire No. 909" on the back label (bottle number 24893) - there is no label on the neck. This is not a six-digit code, so my bottle either is older than 25 years, or I should merely add 909 to 1084 - resulting in 1993.

I will have to check the local shop's dusty bottles of Chartreuse to see if they have 6-digit codes. Given that little of the green stuff flies off store shelves, I believe that there will be some 20+ year-old liqueur present. :)

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Chartreuse Trivia

#2 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » April 9th, 2017, 6:16 am

Glad to see some fans for this. I haven't had any in long time...and miss it,

In 1983, on our honeymoon, we almost called it quits due, in part, to Chartreuse. We had taken an overnight train from Venice to Nice and rented a Renault 5 ("Le Car") which did not have enough power to navigate the "bas alpes". We were exhausted and basically lost most of the time. (GPS was not in existence then; nor cellphones, or the internet).

I was determined to visit Chartreuse's tourist center (not up there with the monks) because of a friend's insistence. My new wife had no interest and wanted to get to a hotel to get some sleep. I won. It was a memorable visit; we were the only ones there; I had never tasted the yellow before that.

Later, we coudn't find that "typical French country inn" and grabbed a chain motel..which seemed to have had an American salad bar (the rage in the US then). It didn't create harmony, to say the least.

But, we can laugh about it now....or, at least I can. She still doesn't find it funny.

I'll have to buy a bottle...soon.

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#3 Post by fred o. » April 9th, 2017, 7:22 pm

I just learned about the VEP Chartreuse, and the history of Chartreuse in general, through a post from David Driscoll at K&L:

http://spiritsjournal.klwines.com/klwin ... orlds.html

pretty fascinating, and seems like there's potential for a lot of rabbit-hole getting-sucked-in, looking for the rarities. I never knew there was so much depth and history to it, I thought it was just a corporate cocktail mixer...
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Drew Goin
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Chartreuse Trivia

#4 Post by Drew Goin » April 9th, 2017, 8:55 pm

I have always wanted a little straw-covered bottle of the stuff!
ordre_des_chartreu.jpg
Straw sheathed Chartreuse
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Stuart, you tried to traverse the French hills in one of these?!? :o
renault-5-1977a.jpg
Renault 5
renault-5-1977a.jpg (21.6 KiB) Viewed 1271 times

Oh! I found a cool, succinct summary of the history of Chartreuse in comic form...

http://www.kellyphillips.net/chartreuse.html

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
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Chartreuse Trivia

#5 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » April 10th, 2017, 8:32 am

Very nice comic/history...

Yes.. Drew....the car looked a little different by 1983, but.....close enough. I had no idea how underpowered it was...and less of an idea that our trip from Nice to Chartreuse would require climbing in the "bas alpes"...a bad combo. Most of the time I remember my foot was compressing the gas pedal as far as it would go. I also remember being stung by a bee during one of the climbs. But....we made it to there, Beaune , Strasbourg and Paris with it....starting passions for Alsace and Bourgogne...and well....we are about to mark our 34th anniversary...so.....

Glad we did that trip then...as we wouldn't have been able to do it now....

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alan weinberg
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#6 Post by alan weinberg » June 1st, 2017, 8:21 pm

got a European offer recently for some aged Chartreuses. Crazy pricing. There must be something to it.

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#7 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » June 2nd, 2017, 2:30 pm

I can't see how the age of the bottles make a difference with that stuff, if that's what it is?

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#8 Post by ybarselah » June 3rd, 2017, 8:31 am

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:I can't see how the age of the bottles make a difference with that stuff, if that's what it is?
it matures and changes, into something amazing.
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David K o l i n
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#9 Post by David K o l i n » June 3rd, 2017, 9:18 am

I love Chartreuse. One of my favorite after dinner parlor games is to give guests Chartreuse, watch them wince, wait five minutes and have them ask for more. It's quite beguiling.

Ihave a bottle of VEP Green that has to be at least 20 years old or more (probably more, since it has no neck label). If anyone has magic code info, I'd be greatful
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#10 Post by ybarselah » June 3rd, 2017, 9:40 am

david - post on insta and tag this account for help in identifying the bottle.

https://www.instagram.com/aphonik/
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alan weinberg
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#11 Post by alan weinberg » June 25th, 2017, 11:28 am

ybarselah wrote:
Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:I can't see how the age of the bottles make a difference with that stuff, if that's what it is?
it matures and changes, into something amazing.
does it age and improve in bottle or only in cask? How long will an open bottle retain freshness? Should I Pungo one? Hi-Time has old NV green and yellow Chartreuse, about $140/b.

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Chartreuse Trivia

#12 Post by ybarselah » June 26th, 2017, 10:48 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
ybarselah wrote:
Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:I can't see how the age of the bottles make a difference with that stuff, if that's what it is?
it matures and changes, into something amazing.
does it age and improve in bottle or only in cask? How long will an open bottle retain freshness? Should I Pungo one? Hi-Time has old NV green and yellow Chartreuse, about $140/b.
bottle. a long time. what's a pungo?/but no. need more details - that seems too cheap.
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#13 Post by alan weinberg » June 29th, 2017, 5:09 pm

ybarselah wrote:
alan weinberg wrote:
ybarselah wrote:it matures and changes, into something amazing.
does it age and improve in bottle or only in cask? How long will an open bottle retain freshness? Should I Pungo one? Hi-Time has old NV green and yellow Chartreuse, about $140/b.
bottle. a long time. what's a pungo?/but no. need more details - that seems too cheap.
http://www.pungo.us/

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#14 Post by ybarselah » June 29th, 2017, 5:28 pm

lol i stopped reading at: "The next time you want to open a bottle of wine, don’t."

grab a bottle of either/each and see. that seems too cheap unless they're only a few years old in which case pass.
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Re: Chartreuse Trivia

#15 Post by M.Kaplan » October 6th, 2018, 8:04 am

One morning a month ago I went to Bossetti in the Marais for a taste of the recently bottled 2018 Chartreuse Verte and to see if they had any old bottles that were reasonably priced (unexpectedly, no). While I was there, the proprietor invited me to their annual Chartreuse tasting event in a few weeks, which, of course, I promptly forgot about.

This afternoon, after eating another superb meal at Mr T (the gastro wine bar co-ventured by Guillaume Guedj of Passage 53, former Passage 53 server Enguerrand Cantegrel, and former Passage 53 sous chef Tsuyoshi Miyakazi, alias Mr. T), I wandered down Rue des Archives toward Bossetti to pick up a bottle of Chartreuse. And stumbled onto the Chartreuse event that I had forgotten about. The place was packed with Chartreuse afficianados whaling away at the dozen-plus three liter bottles of Chartreuse Verte et Jaune from recent vintages, assorted blends, and a few rarities. It was great fun.

As I wandered about the room, I happened upon a smiling group furtively sampling from a bottle of old Chartreuse Verte distilled in 1966 in the old distillery, now closed, in Tarragon, Spain. When I asked the owner if I could photo the bottle, he posed with it and then poured me a generous dram of the magic elixir. Breathtaking. It was like tasting an old, rare whisky; bittersweet because it was incredibly delicious and also sad, because the old bottle can never be replicated or easily replaced. A good afternoon.
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Re: Chartreuse Trivia

#16 Post by alan weinberg » October 7th, 2018, 6:25 pm

great thread. I need to learn more.

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