Today the Carthusian monks produce the Chartreuse as yesterday: they jealously preserve the secret recipe of which they are the only ones who know the details.
No additives or dyes, just the natural color given by the 130 herbs macerated in a high quality alcohol, then distilled.
A distillate of honey and sugar syrup is then added to the Jaune variety.
At this point the long aging begins in the oak barrels, in the beautiful cellars of Voiron, in the south-eastern part of France. Entering these cellars is like going back in time: now there is no one who ages liqueurs. The Chartreuse Vert and Jaune have at least 3 years of aging in oak barrels and the V.E.P. minimum 10 years, distilled in tinned copper centennial stills.
A bit of history:
1605 - Marshal D’Estrées hands over to the Chartreuse monks a manuscript containing a formula for a long life elixir.
1764 - The 55th Chartreuse Verte is born, called liqueur de santé.
1789 - Following the French revolution, the monks disperse.
1838 - The monks, returned to the great Chartreuse, produce the 40th Chartreuse Jaune.
1903 - Charteuse monks are expelled from France, the brand is nationalized by the government, and the distillery sold to a group of private investors. The distillers fathers move to Spain, opening a new distillery in Tarragona.
1929 - The monks return to possess the monasteries in France.
1935 - A landslide destroys the distillery, dispersing much of the stock in the river. The French army intervenes and manages to save some oak barrels and copper stills, which are transferred to the nearby town of Voiron, where the monks have a small warehouse and a cellar.
1963 - The first V.E.P. (Vieillessement Exceptionallement Prolongé).
2000 - Production of the Episcopal du 3eme Millenaire.
The Chartreuse, in 2015, has turned 410 years and in 2014 the Vert has made 250 and for this occasion a special label was created sold in 2014 and today already as a collection.