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Tromba vs 666

It’s a tough call.

On the one hand, there’s twice distilled 100% agave tequila Blanco from a tiny distillery in the Mexican highlands, and on the other there’s scarily pure charcoal-filtered vodka from the wild, windswept north western tip of Tasmania.

Both are made by small, independent distillers taking on the zeitgeist-defining task of changing the way their spirit has been drunk for generations, and both are irresistibly, hopelessly drinkable.  (Trust us.)

Both have won a swag of medals and awards and, unsurprisingly, score almost perfectly against our own (only slightly less scientific) test criteria

Like champagne, only tequila distilled in one of the five defined tequila specialist regions in Mexico is allowed to be sold under that name. Tromba’s small agave farm is in one such region: the tropical highlands of Jalisco which, conveniently enough, is also home of the mariachi band, sombrero, birria and rodeo.  (Which basically means you don’t need to leave.)

Tequila tromba takes its name from the ‘big rain’ which hits Jalisco every spring, nourishing Tromba’s crop of lush, blue agave and soaking the lace-and-ribbon-wearing chicas and gueys of the region from June to October every year.

The agave takes between eight and twelves years to ripen and, when the time comes, is harvested by a specialist jimadore.  The agave hearts are then cooked, shredded and pressed to extract the mosto juice, which is then fermented with yeast to master distiller Marco Sedano’s ‘secret specifications’.   

The result is an almost sweet and peppery sipping tequila that won silver at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition, second place at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York, and best tequila at the Mediterranean Wine and Spirits competition.

But 666 Pure Vodka, named for the Tasmanian devil, has won its fair share of awards too.  It was the first gold medal-winning Australian vodka at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and, perhaps even more impressively, ranked fourth in the world in the Fifty Best Vodkas blind tasting competition in 2012. 

666 is distilled amongst the boiling seas and gale force winds in Tasmania’s North West at the aptly named Cape Grim – which also lays claim (thanks to CSIRO scientist certification) to the purest air and water in the world.  The rain water is so pure in fact that it’s the only in the world approved for unfiltered consumption by health departments in the US, Japan, EU and Australia.

This, combined with Tasmanian barley harvested, ground and fermented on site, maketh the vodka.  It’s thrice charcoal filtered into copper stills before being bottled, and has been described as one of the purest, cleanest vodkas on the planet.

We had a tasting session at the Melbourne pop-up shop last night to try and make the decision easier.  (All it did was make closing harder.) 

So we’re appealing to you to help us choose. Tell us which one you think we should stock in the comments section below and, if you’re over 18, you’ll go in the running to win a bottle of whatever wins.