Originally made by the Carthusian monks in France's La Grande Chartreuse monastery, this aromatic liqueur comes in green and yellow varieties. (verte) Chartreuse gets its pale yellow-green color from chlorophyll and has a minty, spicy flavor that's more intense and aromatic than its golden counterpart. Yellow (jaune) Chartreuse is lower in alcohol, lighter in body, sweeter (from honey) and has a pale yellow color attributed by saffron. The term Chartreuse V.E.P. (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé"Exceptionally Prolonged Aging") describes limited lots of both green and yellow Chartreuse that have 12 years of oak-aging, a process that produces mellow, incredibly complex liqueurs with slightly lower alcohol levels.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.