Aged Chartreuse

Hi everyone- Here’s a random question…Not sure if this is the right place to post, but I became curious about this after listening to a GuildSomm podcast, so figured it’s not totally out of left field.

I drink liquor very occasionally. When I do, it’s almost always single malt Scotch. Which I do love…But I’ve been listening to back episodes the GuildSomm podcast, and the May 2020 episode discussed aged bottles of Chartreuse. I’ve enjoyed Chartreuse before (even have a 375mL of the green right now), but never considered it something to cellar. The podcast makes it sound like an experience that is not to be missed. I had a lot of questions…

Does anyone here have any experience with this? If so, what is the aged stuff like and how does it compare to the young stuff? How old does it need to be before there are detectable differences? And finally, where do you get the stuff? A few online searches yielded very little.



OMG just realized there is a beer and spirits board. Sorry!

1 Like

I think Phillip Seymour Hoffman had words of wisdom about chartreuse in “Along Came Polly.”

1 Like


I rarely drink spirits at all, but love the older Chartreuse from Tarragona. It is now very expensive but such an enthralling beverage in both green and yellow.



I really love the yellow


We keep a bottle of the green from L. Garnier in the cabinet. It’s the best one I’ve found. Spendy, but worth the price. I probably go through a bottle over the course of two/three years. It doesn’t go bad or anything, similar to other liquors.

Not sure exactly why, but it sure does make an upset/queasy stomach feel better. If I’m not feeling right, or if I eat too much it only takes a few sips and I’m feeling good again. Learned about this during a dinner at Brix many years ago from the som. A friend in the group had an upset stomach and I asked the som if he had anything that might help. He brought a shot out and all was golden after he took a few sips.

We have tried the yellow as well, but it just doesn’t have the kick the green does.

The lesser expensive stuff I keep on hand for making cocktails (both green and yellow).

I made a post about this a while back, Frasca does a vintage amaro cart and gave me the name of a guy that sells out of England. He also had some Chartreuse as well if you’re looking to pick some up. Name is in my post, sorry can’t find it right now.

Are we talking about buying an already aged version or aging your own in bottle? Spirits don’t usually change in bottle over time. Is this an exception to that rule?

I don’t understand it myself but have sampled a couple of aged versions from Paul’s restaurant that show a clear difference vs. more contemporary bottles (and I’ve tried all sorts: regular green/yellow, VEP, Cuvee des MOFs, elixer vegetal). It’s hard to put the difference in words, but the age seems to tame and integrate the wilder, greener notes, without causing them to lose their distinctiveness. I’ve only had the more affordable ones: the 1982-92 Green, Voiron ‘German Bottling’ and the 1973-82 Yellow, Voiron (per their menu) and not say the Tarragona. The aged ones are the only ones my Chartreuse-skeptic spouse will accept

I once asked Paul, when I was reasonably tipsy, how he sourced them, and as I understand it you just kind of dig around in random liquor stores in France for these…

There are a couple of French auction houses that routinely sell older Chartreuse.

We imported some very rare large bottles for Zachy’s two years ago that were sold at auction in NY.

According to Wikipedia, yes. It’s one of few liquors that will age.


If you’re in the area I can serve you some 50-year old yellow.

Old Chartreuse does gain interest and integration but not in any way that justifies the vast difference in price. The ‘normal’ green version is to my mind an astonishing bargain, even if it should not be drunk very frequently.

1 Like

Definitely need to listen to that podcast! I have started to collect Chartreuse VEP to my cellar in aging purposes. I try to get a bottle per year. I wouldn’t necessarily age the basic vert/jaune but the VEP should age really well. I was blown away when I first tasted green VEP few years ago. There were so much aromas that I had never experienced before. If someone here has experience with 10, 20, 30, … years old green VEP, I would love to hear how the aromas develop and what would be the best time time drink it.

1 Like

Do spirits improve even moderately in bottle? My understanding is that since glass is inert there is no added benefit for aging distillates. If I buy a 12 year scotch and sit on it for 9 years it isn’t a 21 year old scotch it’s still a twelve year old scotch.

Most don’t, Chartreuse does.

1 Like

Will an aged Chartreuse taste better in a “Grolle”? :slight_smile:. That’s how I had Chartreuse the last time I drank it.

In the current COVID and hopefully soon to be post-COVID age, this Savoyard tradition might not be as popular as it barely was…


  • Hot coffee
  • Citrus
  • Spices
  • Chartreuse (different recipes call for different spirits)

Serve in a multi-spout wooden vessel from which everyone drinks by alternating spouts.


I have a few bottles of the L. Garnier VEP green that i have been aging and enjoying for years.

I think that when it comes to high-proof spirits like whiskey, gin, vodka, etc., that may be the case (or if they change, the change occurs over a very long period of time). However, I would have assumed that lower-proof liquors with more herbal, floral components (such as Amaros, Chartreuse, etc.), the flavors would likely evolve over time…I also know that Mezcal, once opened for a few months, seems to evolve/change, sometimes for the better, and sometimes not.

Chartreuse is high alcohol (55%) and changes for the better in bottle over a loooooong time, like 40 years minimum. I love old Chartreuse, but the prices for Tarragona 1960s-70s distillate are now well over $1000 and continuing to climb.