The Chartreuse of 1945-1951 (Tarragona)
The Tarragona distillery was in financial turmoil at the time and was forced to produce brandy in order to make enough money to pay its dozens of employees. The new Brandy CAR would be produced for more than twenty years, from 1944 to 1965. The sales of this liquor were thankfully able to keep the company afloat. As for the eau-de-vie itself, it was akin to a sort of cognac made with a blend of other eaux-de-vie and added caramel. Its degrees (or alcohol by volume) reached 43.5° and it was usually kept in barrels for two years before ending up in a bottle. The CAR was first and foremost meant to be a soldier's drink. British and American troops all took a flask with them on the battlefield.
World War II and the subsequent (and seemingly never-ending) sugar shortages were a real thorn in the Carthusian Fathers' side, as exports to the United States were at an all-time low after 1945 (although the Cuban market was growing, since they bought Brandy in exchange for the much needed sugar used to make Chartreuse liqueur). Until the 1950's, the sugar crisis was heavily weighing on the Spanish Chartreuse. In 1953, things were finally starting to look a bit brighter for the monks, as the sales were going back up again.Read more