GROTON, CT—Touting the new offering’s full-bodied flavor and bold, fruit-forward bouquet, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer unveiled a vintage cask-aged variety of its popular cold medicine Robitussin on Friday.
Labeled as Robitussin Reserve, the high-end over-the-counter cough remedy is reportedly being marketed toward a more affluent segment of consumers with acute upper respiratory symptoms. Company officials confirmed the select Cough & Cold blend has been prepared in a limited run of 100 barrels and retails for $39.95 a bottle.
“This is an upscale product for the cold and flu sufferer with a discerning palate,” said Pfizer spokesman Mark Dumont, who went on to describe Robitussin Reserve as a premium version of the classic medication, one that effectively relieves the toughest chest congestion with “a delicate smoothness and complex aromatics.” “This fine vintage provides multi-symptom relief while satisfying the tastes of even the most refined connoisseur. It is well-balanced, elegant, and loosens phlegm and mucus with minimal drowsiness.”
“You’re going to want to save this Robitussin for a very special cold,” Dumont continued. “We recommend pairing it with soup, saltines, and plenty of fluids.”
According to company sources, the superior-blend DXM-based cough suppressant is produced exclusively in the East Brunswick region of New Jersey—an area long known for its world-class medications—where master manufacturers on the sprawling Pfizer grounds are said to hand-select only “the finest available” industrial-grade pharmaceutical ingredients.
Though officials would not release the details of their proprietary maturation process, they confirmed that each batch is aged in French oak casks and stored at cool temperatures in the manufacturing plant’s basement cellar, a technique thought to enrich the dextromethorphan hydrobromide’s taste profile before bottling.
With its intense ruby color and syrupy-thick mouthfeel, the new maximum-strength vintage is said to be redolent of mixed berries and eucalyptus, with strong notes of cherry, an assertive nose of honey-lemon, and a lingering medicinal finish. Pfizer representatives stated that a P.M. varietal is in the works for next year’s bottling.
“Robitussin Reserve is our most exciting release this flu season,” said Pfizer pharmacologist Anne Tomlinson, who recommended removing the cap and allowing the liquid to aerate for 30 minutes prior to consumption in order to properly activate the decongestants. “But you may not want to uncap it right away. This is a bottle many will choose to age longer in their medicine cabinets, perhaps saving it for the wedding day of a son or daughter with a bad case of bronchitis.”
Packaged in a dark green bottle that prevents damaging sunlight from breaking down the desirable allergy-blocking properties of its antihistamines, the vintage Robitussin comes with a stemmed plastic dosing cup in which Tomlinson encouraged tasters to swirl the medication in order to release its characteristic aroma.
She added that examining “the legs” of the cough syrup could reveal a lot about the drug’s binding and thickening agents, as well as showcase its brilliant FD&C Red No. 40 dye content.
“My wife and I were celebrating our anniversary last night while fighting off nagging colds, so we decided to try Robitussin Reserve,” said Gary Hutchinson of Darien, CT, who picked up a bottle of the top-shelf vintage at a nearby Rite Aid. “We cracked it open, said a toast, and then really savored it. It definitely has much more depth and complexity than the cheaper bottles I used to buy. And it really took the edge off my cold.”
“It’s pretty strong, though,” he added. “I had a bit too much and passed right out.”