Saturday, 6 February 2010

Elixir Vegetal de la Grande Chartreuse

So I arrived into work this morning to find a Chap by the name of David Cooper waiting for me. He'd been into the restaurant some time previously and had started talking about Chartreuse Elixir. I confessed that I'd never heard of it and we got talking. Over a mug of hot chocolate and green Chartreuse - which is in fact incredible - he mentioned that he used to be able to buy this elixir, that it was 70ish percent alcohol and quite wonderful, but that it had disappeared somewhat.
I mentioned that I dealt with Fells who distribute Chartreuse in the UK and that I could probably buy some. So a couple of weeks later he'd arrived to pick up his box of 10 by 10cl bottles, and a couple of bottles of the normal green for good measure.
Being a kindly sort he then left me a bottle, possibly to ensure my cooperation in future procurement..
Even more than normal green Chartreuse it really looks like poison, the acid green of later seedier hours of the belle epoque Parisien nights. The little medicine bottle has a dropper style opening, and it's recommended to be dropped onto sugar cubes to give one a lift and fight fatigue.
The nose is blisteringly complex, bitter herbs, bitter roots, something almost chocolatey, cinnamon. Then, though the alcohol is noticeable it's actually somewhat obscured by the weight of herbal extract, it's very bitter, there's noticeable sweetness and a really interesting length.
I'm certainly going to be stocking it in future.

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