Rank Wildcat – Black Gold

The second offering out of Rank Wildcat Distilleries, Black Gold is a pretty middle-of-the-road rum, but is produced a bit backwards…

Black Gold Single Harvest Blend is aged with hand-charred American white oak staves harvested from whiskey barrels. […] Think of it this way: instead of putting the rum in a barrel, they are putting the barrel in the rum! After close monitoring, when the staves have done their job, the rum finishes its maturation in 10 gallon barrels. In a matter of months rather than years, the product passes the distillers’ standards, taking on wonderful flavors and hues from its interaction with the wood. Hints of pipe tobacco and vanilla.

Rank Wildcat distillery has three basic principles:

  1. No blackstrap molasses.
  2. All natural flavor. No added sweeteners, flavors, or colors.
  3. Artisan-crafted.

Black Gold is, I believed their Sweet Crude Rum, aged with oak staves for a period of time. Aging with oak rather than in oak, quickens the aging process and partakes a stronger color and flavor in a shorter period of time. I will make sure to follow up at some point with a direct comparison of Sweet Crude to Black Gold.

  • Nation: Louisiana, USA
  • Color: Clear yellow gold
  • Aroma: Light and crisp, with a hit of sweetness, caramel, and vanilla.
  • Flavor: Pretty basic. Single note that I can honestly, only describe as “yep, that’s rum”
  • Finish: Strong mouth burn that lingers for a while.
  • Notes: This rum feels stronger than it is. The distinct alcohol burn can be distracting, but ice helps. A little bit of something reminds me of a campfire. Whether it’s the smoky flavor, or the roasted marshmallows, I can’t be sure. Overall, it’s just not that interesting.
  • Rating: C-

Update: I brought a bottle to my Cuban family’s Easter party, and my Uncle could not get enough of it! Said it was the best rum he’s had in years, and knowing that he prefers a lighter body rum, it makes sense. 


Find it Locally:

By the Bottle:

  • Bin Q Liquor
  • Calandro’s Supermarket
  • Martin’s Wine Cellar
  • Whole Foods
  • Trader Joes
  • Some Rouse’s Markets

By the Glass:

  • Olive or Twist
  • Chimes East

*The closer you are to Lafayette, the easier it is to find. 


I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.

Photo by @gonzo_form

Rank Wildcat – Sweet Crude

The guys at Rank Wildcat Spirits make their Sweet Crude Rum with three basic principles.

  1. No blackstrap molasses. They seek out sources of sugar closer to the beginning of the refinement process. While they don’t use sugar cane juice like true Rhum Agricole, they get pretty close and it’s evident in the final product.
  2. All natural flavor. No added sweeteners, flavors, or colors.
  3. Artisan-crafted. Claiming to be Louisiana’s smallest rum distillery, (a title that may be contested, since a few micro-distillers in New Orleans popped up in the last few years) Rank Wildcat made their own distillation still by hand (named Lulu), which get’s them serious props in my book.
  • Nation: Louisiana, USA
  • Color: Clear
  • Aroma: What I can only assume is sugar cane. It’s grassy without being herby, sweet without being sharp. It’s ripe, thick, rich, and vegetal.
  • Flavor: Smooth and balanced.
  • Finish: Finishes with a quick burst of sugar cane before smoldering away.
  • Notes: Easy to sip on with just an ice cube. Nothing is overwhelming or harsh. It’s balanced, if not a bit mild. I almost don’t want to finish this sentence… because it is really good… but it’s almost boring.
  • Grade: B-

Find it Locally:

By the Bottle:

  • Q Liquor
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Martin’s Wine Cellar
  • Calandro’s Supermarket

By the Glass:

  • Chimes East
  • The Rum House

I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.