A very clear, pale gold robe adorns 2 Towns’ new Cider Master Reserve Barrel Select Blend-Batch 1. Large bubbles cling and rise, cling and rise, presenting a pleasant and refreshing looking drink. The nose on the Barrel Select Blend is an explosion of bright apple aromas that fight to dominate, but ultimately you’ll confront brown sugar notes and hints of banana that easily fight their way through. Once in the mouth you get a highly effervescent cider that spreads out lightly across the palate with it tight acidic core and body building tannic notes on the side. The flavors here are a duplicate of the nose. The slightest note of residual sugar pairs with ripe and sour apple flavors, with citrus and banana bursts on the finish. This is a very clean, un-funked, bright, well composed cider that is among the best we’ve had from 2 Towns. It is produced with an array of Northwest-grown cider apples including Ashmead’s Kernal, Bramley’s Seedling, Chisel Jersey and Newtown Pippen. Though advertised as a “barrel blend”, we don’t detect much barrel influence. This seems likely due to the expressive fruit it delivers.