Incredibly Rare Chartreuse Sells for Record-Breaking Price at World's Largest Chartreuse Auction
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‘The Treasure Hunt Has Begun’: Incredibly Rare Chartreuse Sells for Record-Breaking Price of $36K at World’s Largest Chartreuse Auction in History

Lot 54 at the “Once Upon a Time…Chartreuse” auction sells for $36,561, a price that helps break records for Chartreuse sales. (Photo: Baghera/Wines)

Two bottles of incredibly rare Chartreuse just broke records after selling for $36,561 at what is now known as the world’s largest Chartreuse Liqueur auction in history, per Wine Industry Advisor. The successful auction comes following the announcement that the monks who make Chartreuse have decided to limit spirit production in order to focus on prayer and solitude.

Baghera/Wines’ “Once Upon a Time…Chartreuse” auction took place from March 4th to March 6th and featured 648 lots, including bottles, half-bottles, mignonettes, unique large formats of Chartreuse and multiple promotional items. A majority of the lots were purchased from clientele living in Europe; however, Wine Industry Advisor noted that American bidders proved a strong interest, signifying a growing desire for the category of herbal spirits within the U.S.

The highest-selling lot was a duo of VEP varietals that were distilled in 1953 and bottled in 1966. According to the report, the liqueurs marked Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation — and even included the original wooden case.

Other items of interest include a set of 12 bottles of Green Chartreuse de Tarragona (dated 1973-1985), a bottle of assumed Yellow Chartreuse (dated 1840-1952) and a bottle of assumed White Chartreuse (also dated 1840-1952). Each of these rare bottles sold for an equivalent of $26,115.

According to Wine Industry Advisor, the online auction achieved a total of $1,624,391 in sales.

“For several years now we have been sensing a real revival of interest in Chartreuse liqueurs,” said auctioneers and founders of Baghera/Wines, Michael Ganne and Julie Carpentier. “Knowledge is increasing and the treasure hunt has begun.”

“We are infinitely grateful to our client for entrusting us with his treasures, which constitute a very important part of a collection built over a lifetime,” the two continued. “Chartreuse can be mastered and respected; it reveals a fascinating subtlety through the different vintages, colors and origins. As is often the case, the trend is launched by a few enthusiasts and word spreads.”

“It embodies the presiding spirit of the Chartreuse and the ancestral know-how of the Carthusian monks. Their discretion and the jealously guarded secret of the formula have contributed to perpetuating the legend. We love this aspect of our business where the human aspect blends with the exceptional to create a unique event such as this one that will represent a landmark in Chartreuse’ history.”

In January, the Carthusian monks who produce the entire range of Chartreuse liqueurs announced their decision to limit the production of their spirits so that they may return to their primary goal of protecting their monastic life. While truly a dignified decision, limited production may lead to the increased scarcity of the already hard-to-find liqueurs.

Find out more about Chartreuse and its use in gin cocktails here.

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Candie Getgen is the managing editor for Gin Raiders. Before immersing herself in the world of spirits journalism, Candie has been many things: a bartender, a literary journal editor, an English teacher — and even a poet. Now, Candie shares her passion for gin with the world and hopes to help others fall in love with it, too (if they haven't already!). When not writing, Candie enjoys sipping an extra-dry martini while painting or relaxing by the pool with a thrilling mystery novel.