Cygnus X-1
St. Paul Brewing

Cygnus X-1Cygnus X-1
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Porter - English
Ranked #94
Ranked #25,084
3.83 | pDev: 13.32%
St. Paul Brewing
Minnesota, United States
Very Good
Cygnus X-1Cygnus X-1
Notes: English Porter made with all imported English malt and hops, except for the rye malt.
Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 217 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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deebo from Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Last can of a 4 pack, canned on 11/2/17. Probably my favorite beer from Flat Earth, finally getting around to a review.
A-Poured into a proper pint glass, this brew has 2 fingers of a beige head atop a dark brown/black brew that allows light to pass through.
S-Pleasant malt aromas of chocolate and lightly roasted coffee with a grainy sweetness.
T-Fairly strong roasted malt flavor.
M-Fairly soft mouthfeel, a bit of an acrid finish.
O-Decent, easy drinking porter.

Jan 18, 2018
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Lucular from Maryland

4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22-oz bomber courtesy of a trade with @maximus12, poured into a tulip glass. Over-carbonated so it yielded a huge head that slowly receded to a thin layer of bubbles and eventually nothing. The smell is great and the taste yields even more flavors as the beer warms: dark roast, coffee, chocolate, vanilla with a hint of caramel, overall nicely complex with zero off flavors. The alcohol is barely noticeable. I could easily make this a regular standby...if it were available nearby and in 6-packs.

Oct 29, 2015
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can of this English style porter poured near black and near opaque with a good head. The roasty flavor is good but not up to the level of the very appealing aroma. Tasting does bring out some light smoke that adds to the dry finish. Suggestions of black coffee here rather than the toffee that's apparent in the nose.

Jul 19, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Bright black with a 2" light tan foam collar that clings to the glass providing thick lace.
S: Dark malt, chocolate, light grains.
T: This leans to the roast malts with light caramel flavors and has a big underlying grain flavor finishing dry.
F: Medium full body, medium carbonation.
O: An easy to drink, dryer porter

Apr 08, 2015
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alphagnome from Iowa

4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an incredibly dark brown color, a few shades off of black. Crowned by a finger-thick creamy, beige head that leaves plenty of lacing behind. There appears to be a considerable amount of carbonation present. Very appealing.

Sweet, dark cocoa nibs and molasses mixed with hints of star anise and cola. Nicely toasted.

A fantastic clash of sweet and bitter. Upfront, you're greeted by rich, toasty chocolate notes. Rye pushes its way in with a wave of bitter coffee. Very malty and lightly hopped with herbal notes breaking through and peat on the finish.

Quite thick, almost chewy consistency. Highly carbonated. Semi-sweet finish.

A very good offering from a very small brewery in St. Paul, MN. Plenty of character can be found in this distinct English Porter. Worth picking up.

Feb 17, 2014
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jimmah120 from Minnesota

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16oz can with a date on the bottom

Very dark amber-brown with a tiny ring of foam. Smell is all smoked malts. The flavor is smoked chocolate grains over a light touch of bitter hops. It is smooth and thick, but leaves a slick oil on the tongue and the flavor sticks around.

Crushable, flavorful porter. Cheap, too

Nov 23, 2013
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davey101 from Connecticut

3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber into a tulip glass. No date indicated but the bottle was quite dusty.
Pours a dark brown body which borders on black. Two fingers of mocha foam which sticks around for a while. Moderate level of lacing. The aroma is of roast, light chocolate, and some faint oxidation in the form of dark fruits. Taste is roasted malts into some vinous red wine and dark fruits. Appears to be a tad over the hill and off, but it still remains drinkable. Mouthfeel is creamy but the beer has a certain mineral quality which detracts quite a bit. Overall this is clearly a beer that gets ruined with age. This must have at least a year or so on it and oxidation is seeping in and messing with the delicate porter notes. Drink fresh!

Jun 06, 2013
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facundoCNB from New Jersey

3.32/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

a deep brown with a finger of beige colored head. smells of roasted grains, chocolate, nutty notes. slightly sour flavor up front with nutty notes, roasted grains, hint of chocolate. medium body with high carbonation.
not really impressed by this beer at all. not sure how old it is, but the sourness is not a good sign. i have a feeling this will end up being a drain pour.

Feb 20, 2013
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.07/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into nonic willi glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head of fair cream and thickness, but merely below average retention. Body colour is a solid dark black; nontransparent and opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Chocolate, roast, hints of vanilla, dark malts, and some sweetness. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Chocolate, dark malts, a bit of vanilla, but not much roast. Simply built, but decently balanced. I want more complexity and subtlety from it, but I don't get it.

Mf: A bit thin for the style. Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated. Doesn't really complement the flavours. Too heavy on the palate for its lack of flavour.

Dr: Drinkable but not great for the style. Hides its ABV decently. I wouldn't want to finish the bottle by meself.

Low C+

Jan 01, 2013
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oline73 from Maryland

3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a half finger of off white head. As the head fades it leaves a ring but no lacing.

Smell: Mild overall with some roast and dark chocolate notes. I'm getting some coffee like notes along with dark fruit.

Taste: Roasty up front with some mild dark chocolate. The malt sweetness has a hint of dark fruit like tartness to it. The finish is still tart and a bit roasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation that's a bit much. The finish is slightly dry.

Overall: I didn't get much from the rye. I can't say I was a big fan of this beer. I don't think I would want another.

Aug 14, 2012
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jsprain1 from Minnesota

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured a reddish color, quite clear. Head is very thick, tanned head, with very good retention and some lacing.
S- Dark malt, with some sweet molasses on as well. There is just a touch of anise.
T- It's fairly sweet up front with some molasses and dark caramel. A bit of espresso and anise is there in the finish but pretty mellow.
M- A bit light for the style, but nice smooth carbonation, dry finish, with just a touch of astringency.
O- A fairly good porter. It leans a little too far sweet and not quite roasted enough. That said, still tasty.

Jun 22, 2012
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augustgarage from California

3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Dark, clear chocolate body with rust highlights and a very active (think soft drink) beige head. Faint lacing; poor retention.

Roast malt, tea biscuits, stale sour coffee, a hint of rye, and mild fruity hop aromatics.

Quite toasty malt profile with hints of cocoa, tangy/peppery rye notes, and caraway. Subtle and distinguished but a little uneven. Earthy mild bitterness leads into a pleasing finish.

Light-bodied, a bit thin with mediocre carbonation.

With a little less alcohol and a little more flavor, this would be quite session-able, though it is a bit too middle-of-the-road otherwise.

Jun 05, 2012
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herman77 from Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The last bottle of this I bought was super old and I emailed the brewery about it and they gave me two free ones. At least this one was fresh, or I'm hoping it is fresh enough. Wish breweries would date stamp or put a best by date on everything.

A: Deep, deep brown, pretty much black with a small light khaki head that fads quick.

S: A nice roasted malt base with some coco powder and a bit nutty.

T: Not as good as the nose. Falls a little flat, not much depth. What is there is is some roasted malt, a tiny bit of chocolate, coffee and you can taste the rye malt coming through. It provides a nice little interesting kick. Finish has a bit of astringent malts, but they fade super fast to nothing.

M: A medium-light body, a tad bit watery. Carbonation is on the higher side.

O: Meh. Not my favorite. Too bad since its local and they have been around since Surly.

Apr 21, 2012
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FightingEntropy from Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have half a dozen entries for Cygnus X-1 in my database, starting with a sample on site in 2007 when I did a tour of the brewery with the MN Home Brewers. In spite of my multiple tasting, they've tended to be few and far between. However, if my memory serves, this beer I'm drinking tonight seems to have a more robust taste than my first tasting.

Very light brown head lingers nicely before falling to a thin lace. At first I thought the nose was coffee, but on second thought it's more clearly a clean roast with an earth spice coming out with the warmth. Strong malt with a roasty smokiness in the taste that's supported by a light but not thin body. Ends with a bitterness that lingers lightly. A very solid porter that pushes the style towards robust. In reading Flat Earth's description, Cygnus is made with rye malt, which explains the bite that I noticed but couldn't place. After I've had the straight Cygnus X-1 now, the differences overlaid in the S'mores infused Grand Design I took home at Christmas are clear. Cygnus is a slightly off centered porter that's fun and interesting to drink.

Apr 07, 2012
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warnerry from Michigan

1.95/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

No bottle date

A - Pours a deep brown with a finger of quickly dissipating head. Leaves no lacing.

S - Heavy coffee aroma, ,with some unpleasant funkiness. Uh-oh.

T - Initial taste is lemon tartness with some funk. Eventually, some coffee and roasted malt flavors come through, but this has clearly gone bad.

M - Very thin mouthfeel that finishes dry.

O - I've only had this for a week or so, but have no idea how old it is. Anyway, this was undrinkable. Bummer, as I was looking forward to trying this.

Jan 07, 2012
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ForWhatAlesYou from Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stout's Pub.

A: Black, ruby. Frothy tan head.

S: A lot of hardwood smoke. Umami (soy). Bread.

T: Delicious. Dark malt, toasted grain, a little biscuit crispness in the grist. The bitter is like that from coffee.

M: Very drying. Med-high carbonation, low viscosity.

D: Oh yes. Again and again.

Dec 31, 2011
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brydeen from Minnesota

3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

enjoyed on tap at Gabe's

A- Pours a deep brown, almost opaque. A thin creamy off-white head, dissipates rather quickly

S- Big roasted coffee aroma, with hints of bittersweet chocolate

T- Strong roasted coffee dominates the pallet, with a bit of bitter hop finish to balance it out at the end.

M- Good carbonation, but a bit thin for the big robust aroma.

O- A solid offering, but lacking a little flavor depth

Dec 22, 2011
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thagr81us from South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to MBrausen for sending me this one so I could tick it! Shared this one with the NoDa Brewing crew in celebration of their grand opening weekend. Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a dark reddish brown with a minimal light tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, and a subtle spiciness. The flavor was of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, subtle sweet malt, and a subtle pepper spiciness. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I was quite surprised by the pepper spiciness on the followthrough. This was a pleasant surprise by the way... The rest of the brew was okay, but nothing special. Glad I got the chance to give this one a shot, but doubt I would seek it out in the future.

Dec 19, 2011
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Beerdregs from Minnesota

3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the "hold your fire" version offered in growlers during the porterfest at the brewery.

A: I poured this conservatively d/t being burned by high carb. growlers in the past. However this beer does not appear to be overcarbed. Pours a black color with minimal amount of head.

S: Heavy on the coffee. I don't think they use coffee in this beer so I think mainly picking up on the heavy roasted malts. Do not perceive the peppers in the nose though.

T: This is a mildly sweet beer. Taste is coffee and fresh green peppers. The hops are there way in the background and the finish a mild heat on the back of the tongue. I don't enjoy the chemistry between the malt and the hot peppers they used.

M: This is a medium bodied beer with ample carbonation.

O: Although I love this beer, I don't like how the peppers are adding to this beer. No comparison to Grand Design (Smores).

Nov 30, 2011
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plfahey from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appearance-Deep russet brown with mahogany tinge around the edges and garnet highlights when held to the light. Good clarity. Moderately tall mocha cream head with fair retention.

Aroma-Dark chocolate, brownie batter, and cocoa liqueur with a slight roasted malt espresso edge. Toasted dark bread crusts and a touch of ashen charcoal. Hint of plum/prune fruitiness. Very low earthy hop aroma complements the wonderful malt profile.

Flavor-Dark chocolate and slight caramel fades to german chocolate cake, roasted malt, toast, and coffee grounds. Smooth, green hops emerge in the finish along with a light acrid bitterness and moderate hop bitterness. Finish has a sharp roast edge, but is still charmingly chocolatey and roasty.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body with moderately high, carbonation which explodes like a soft bubbly blanket on the tongue-lending a creamy feel to the beer.

Not quite smooth and caramelly enough to be an English Porter, but still quite nice. While additional points of complexity are light and quite subtle, the malt profile is multi-faceted and shows great depth. A very drinkable, tasty porter.

Nov 26, 2011
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DrewZ926 from New York

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Tripp for the LIF!

A- Dark body with an inch of burnt sienna head that fades fast.

S- Coffee grounds, chocolate covered espresso beans, a little smoke

T- Deep malt with nice sweetness upfront, follows with a lot of dark chocolate and roast and finishes with a surprising bitter twang.

M- Smooth and rich.

Overall a great porter and one I wish was distributed around here.

Nov 01, 2011
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happygnome from Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing from notes, on tap at Gabe's

A: pours a nice deep brown color with about a quarter inch of head after the bartender poured some head off and continued to pour more beer.

S: Roasted coffee and chocolate malts, balanced with mild hop bitterness

T: the roasted malt character hits the tongue with sweetness initially. The sweetness is not cloying but very nice. There is a hint of bitterness to balance

M:full bodied beer, little carbonation

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer.

Jul 18, 2011
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been enjoying this brew for quite a while, but never sat down to review it proper-like. And I've sent a fair share around the country as extras, hope all that have received it have enjoyed it!

Pour is dark brown, with an evil red glimmering deep within the bowels of the glass. Quite a noseful on this brew: just-got-dumped-bitter chocolate, strong roast, & a jumpy spice that can only be rye. Oh, rye, I do love a good bit of rye in the mix.

Cygnus X-1 is a solid porter that gains a pleasing edge with the rye addition. Prologue is big roasts notes, a smokey shot that doesn't appear in the nose, shadow of chocolate. The rye malt is subtler than the nose suggests, just leaving an after-image on the tongue. Finish is sweet with a side of milkiness, which washes over into a creamy, full mouthfeel. One of those porters that hits the sweet spot of drinkability; you know you're drinking a good dark beer.

Good beer that might be even better on tap, a good choice when one doesn't want a huge dose of alcohol or a phalanx of hops.

Jun 28, 2011
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mdfb79 from New York

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 06/04/11 notes. Bottle shared by nmann08; thanks Nate. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with light carbonation evident and less than one inch of off white head.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, sweet fruit, toasted malts. Nice and sweet, I liked the nose.

t - Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, sweet milk chocolate, and toasted malts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice porter. I liked the nose a lot and thought there was a lot of sweet chocolate. Would like to try again.

Jun 09, 2011
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MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark cola like amber brown. Lots of rising bubbles. Big three finger lightly tan head with great retention and very good lacing.

Smell: Strong aroma of dark roasted malts with a good amount of chocolate and coffee. Hints of dark fruit, rye, and floral hops. Has a very toasty smell.

Taste: A sweet taste from the roasted malts, grains, chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. Has a hint of rye in the middle and a light hint of hops in the finish. Strong with the fruity sweetness but it is well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation. Very creamy, toasty, and smooth.

Overall: A very good porter from Flat Earth. One of the better ones I have tasted.

Jun 08, 2011
Cygnus X-1 from St. Paul Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 217 ratings