If Chartreuse, the renowned bright-green liqueur crafted by Carthusian monks in the French Alps, seems to be scarce lately, you’d finally find an explanation why.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the monks have decided to prioritize prayer and solitude over alcohol production, leading fans of the herbal spirit to stock up whenever they come across available bottles.
“Unlike nearly all other companies in the world, the monks don’t care about constant growth,” Father Michael Holleran, a former Carthusian monk who led Chartreuse production in the late 1980s, said to the WSJ.
Chartreuse, with its secret recipe dating back to the 17th century and containing around 130 herbs, spices, and flowers, is now produced in limited quantities to sustain the monastic order. In a January letter, Chartreuse Diffusion, the French distributor, stated that the monks are focused on protecting their monastic life and are not seeking to expand production beyond their needs. This has resulted in a production cap of approximately 1.2 million bottles per year, which is about 10 percent less than in 2021.
Despite its storied history and unique flavor profile, the high demand for Chartreuse has outpaced its limited availability. The Wall Street Journal reveals that sales have grown by a remarkable 47 percent in the past year compared to the previous 12 months.
Some liquor stores in the US have been without Chartreuse for nearly a year, and those that manage to obtain it quickly sell out. However, the unwavering resolve of the monks to prioritize their way of life over increased production remains unchanged.
Safe to say, this news has left its more than a few fans feeling a little bit shaken and stirred.
Top image credit: Zeppelin.