Reviews are done by Jim Matt, our Head Brewer, who is also a veteran FoBAB judge, GABF judge, and BJCP Master judge.
In our second collaboration with Sun King Brewing out of Indianapolis, we bring you respite from the chills of winter with a deeply complex, rich and malty lumberjack of a brew: Emergency Malt Kit (7.0% | 22 IBU).
Malts: 2-Row, Aromatic, Abbey, Special B, Chocolate
Hops: Bravo, Bodicea
Jim, can you shed some light on Rhinegeist’s relationship with Sun King?
Sun King was generous enough to offer me my first job in the brewing industry when I had just been reallocated from the pharmaceutical industry. But it goes deeper than that...I've known Dave and Clay (the co-founders) since their days of brewing at the Ram. I learned a great deal from everyone over at Sun King, and I am honored to call them all my friends.
How did the idea for another collaboration come about?
We loved the first collaboration so much it only seemed inevitable that another one would emerge. Bryant half jokingly mentioned the name “Emergency Malt Kit” one day, and it seemed to stick. Dave and I had a conversation about it over beers at FoBAB last year, so the idea was kept alive, and we finally discussed it in more detail and got it in the brew schedule. The original plan was that this beer was going to be a “mash-up” of Wee Muckle (Sun King's Strong Scotch Ale) and Mastodon (our Belgian Dark Strong). The beer is quite a bit less strong than either, but has many malts in common to both.
What is a Scottish 100 Shilling?
It is actually a bit of a made-up style. It is higher in alcohol than a Scottish Export (80 Shilling) but lower in alcohol than a Wee Heavy. The Shilling rating of Scottish Ales originated from how much the pub would charge for a beer. In the UK, the price (tax) was directly proportional to the alcohol level.
What are the distinct characteristics of Emergency Malt Kit?
It is definitely a malt-focused beer. Aromatic malt gives a very deep and rich character to the beer, like toasted bread. Abbey malt gives a perception of sweetness (like honey), and Special B malt adds a raisin and dark fruit character to the beer.
What makes you want to drink this beer?
It is complex and malty, not at all like other malt-focused beers on the market. It is also a beer that is both malty and dry, not at all cloying. Also perfect for the fall season.
Appearance: It is a dark copper and approaching light brown. Emergency Malt Kit is a very light haze that dissipates upon warming. In addition, it has a moderate off white head with good retention.
Smell: Complex medium-high malt aromas like toasty, bready, raisin, honey, light chocolate, dark fruit and caramel. Medium-low fruity esters and low hop aroma.
Taste: Medium-high malt flavor meaning toast, bread, caramel, plum, light chocolate. The flavor persists and is complex and long lasting. Low hop flavor, low hop bitterness, dry finish. The complexity opens up as the beer warms in the glass.
Mouthfeel: It is a medium weight and viscosity along with medium carbonation. It has low astringency, low alcohol warmth.
Overall: A malty but dry beer with a high amount of malt complexity.
What foods would pair well with Emergency Malt Kit?
I’d go with a charcuterie plate or cheese plate with aromatic cheeses, in particular, Stilton, aged Cheddar and/or French Munster.
Ideal glassware for Emergency Malt Kit?
Go with a Thistle Scottish Ale glass.