A Few Upcoming Talks
San Francisco Bay Area Bars with Cocktails To Go

A New Book on Chartreuse Corrects the History of the Brand

2AF7ED1D-A044-4FE2-B9B1-3D53BC6831D3Chartreuse, a liqueur made by Carthusian monks with a recipe dating to 1605, has been made in 6 different distilleries in France and Spain over the centuries. The monks dedicated to its production do so in silence and isolation, while the brand Chartreuse is run by an outside company. They handle the sales and marketing and all that jazz. 

While the marketing company has done their best to put the brand history on their website and keep their importers and brand ambassadors trained on it, this was done largely without much input of the fathers of the order. So finally the marketing company and the fathers got together and produced a brand book that includes brand history, special bottlings, and other information. The monks looked into their vaults and records. 

I have a copy of the book but haven't had time to read it yet. At a book launch event in San Francisco, we learned that in writing this new book they learned a lot of new information - and past misinformation about the brand history. One fact they brought up is that they had a special anniversary release bottling a few years back but then just learned that it was on the wrong anniversary and they were something like 50 years off.

Also the dates on the various monasteries/distilleries where Chartreuse was made have all been adjusted. I was working with Tim Master who works for the US importer on brand history a bit over a year ago for a project and getting really detailed info versus what was publicly available, but even that information was slightly off since he'd not yet had access to the info in this book.   I wrote up a blog post about the location and dates of all the Chartreuse monasteries, but it turns out all the dates were slightly off so I need to update that post. 

At the book launch they gave us bookmarks with all the distillery dates and locations on it so a quick check revealed where I was off. I'll need to do a super thorough review of what I wrote about the brand's history (I think I wrote about 4000 words on it) after reviewing this new book. 

So where do I get this book, you ask? There's only one place: It's available for sale at CocktailKingdom.com

The book is about 350 pages with a history, photos, timelines, etc. For a booze history nerd, it seems pretty essential. 



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Eric Haiduk

I enjoyed your article. I have been looking for this book since it first came out; emailed several places in France with no results. I found it today at the website you suggested as a matter of fact. Can't wait to see it. In 2003 I had the very great privilege of meeting the two monks involved inn the manufacturing.


Nice! Chartreuse is on my wish list of distilleries to visit.

Claude Millee

I found one on Les Passionnés du Vin website, it is in French however. Luckily I speak the language!
It is still in stock


Is there anywhere where the English version of the text is still available?

Camper English

@Emily - Alas I just looked in a few spots that carried it and didn't see it. Perhaps look into the online used bookstores?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)