Cygnus X-1 | Flat Earth Brewing Company

very good
106 Reviews
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Cygnus X-1Cygnus X-1

Brewed by:
Flat Earth Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
English Porter made with all imported English malt and hops, except for the rye malt.

Added by tavernjef on 09-12-2007

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Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 210
Photo of alexgash
1.92/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

22 oz. bottle.

Clear maple syrup amber brown body. Large, creamy, lacy, dark beige head. Good retention. Nose is, surprisingly full of sour cherries and lemon tartness. Uh-oh. Some scorched caramel and chocolate detectable, but mostly sour and woody. Taste is, as expected, overwhelmingly tart and sour. Overcarbonated and gushy, with unpleasant woody tartness. It's too bad, because I was really looking forward to trying this beer! Better luck next time Flat Earth.

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Photo of warnerry
1.95/5  rDev -48.7%
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.

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Photo of schellsbeer
2.21/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Purchased in the Twin Cities a few weeks ago and I am glad I only got one bomber. I was really looking forward to trying this beer but it really didn't impress me.

For an English Porter, had some funky smell and taste going on. Not clean. Bottle wasn't infected but it was just Some smoke flavoring but very very thin for this type of beer. I wanted something to stand out and say....yeah. But that never happened. Drain pour..No. But I won't be purchasing another one in a very long time considering there are MANY more better porters out there and for less money. This beer tasted CHEAP. Like it was made at the old Pig's Eye brewery. Come on guys, you can do better. If you are going to use a classic rock band's song for a beer, please make a quality product. I am afraid RUSH wouldn't be proud. No endorements from them or from me for that matter.

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Photo of BMoney575
2.41/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Sampled on 1-27-09

Pours dark and hugely foamy, almost spilling over the sides of the glass. The foam settles to a thick tower, leaving craggy chunks of lacing.

Smell is clean but malty, with subtle aromas of smoke and anise.

Taste is oddly sour, slightly earthy, and that's about it. Not good at all.

Mouthfeel is super fizzy, and off-putting.

Drinkability is bad, taste and mouthfeel make it a chore to drink.

Overall, gross.

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Photo of Onenote81
2.47/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Bomber poured into my pint glass. Pours a cloudy dark muddy brown with a thin tan head on top. Fair retention, but leaves little to no lacing. Smells like freshly ground coffee right off the bat, then this dulls to scents of earth and bread.

The mouth is pretty average. Some carbonation play, and slight creamy feel. This is a pretty sour porter. The roasted coffee flavors I was expecting are absent. In their place is a sour mineral flavor that isn't all that pleasant. I had higher expectations for this, but I couldn't even finish the bottle. Not impressed.

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Photo of tmoneyba
2.6/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle from Jungle Jim's.

A - Poured a clear dark brown color with a large frothy brown head that lasted with good lacing.

S - Moderate biscuit malt, chocolate and smoke aroma.

T - Medium bitter & sour flavor with a medium bitter finish of moderate duration.

M - Medium body with a dry texture and lively carbonation.

D - My expectations where not met and I hope this was a single bad bottle.

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Photo of roadhouse
2.69/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bomber into a pint glass

Pours a dark mahogany color with a two inch light tan head. Retention is very good with some moderate lacing left behind.

Aroma is kind of funky overall. There's definitely some diacetyl, not exactly pleasing. A bit of chocolate, light fruit character. Quite average overall.

Taste is sour up front with some cherry/raspberry tartness. Some of the chocolate character as well but the tartness dominates. Diacetyl also comes through slightly, not really helping it out.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, good creamy texture, but the tartness takes something away from it.

I don't know if this was infected or it was supposed to taste like this, but I definitely didn't like it. Very disappointed.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.7/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to brewnic for the extra. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a dimpled glass. The body is dark brown/black and atop it is a finger sized, tan head that fades slowly and is somewhat bubbly. So far so good. The aroma here is coffee, chocolate, tart dark fruits, low-key, but noticeably skunky hops and a generalized roast fragrance that leans toward bread and cereal grains rather than specifically malt. Roasty coffee and chocolate notes bloom in the fore and then segue into yet sweeter notes of fruit malt. This arrangement is pleasing, but there exists a metallic background to the whole affair that is distracting, from a flavor standpoint. While I wish that metal twang would go away, it was kind of a deal killer for me. The mouth feel is mostly where it should be for the style; full carbonation. I can't say I was impressed with this beer and wouldn't want it again though I respect the style.

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Photo of kegger22
2.86/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a medium brown with an enormous head that slowly faded to a one fingered one. The aroma, while chilled, was vinegar, but as it warmed you could smell the chocolate. The taste too, was very sour, like vinegar cut with soda water. The flavor was helped by warming, but not a great deal, and remained somewhat sour. Feel was light bodied, even for a porter, with only a small amount of carbonation that survived the head. Drinkability was only fair. I had been looking forward to trying something from Flat Earth and was a little disappointed. I had thought that the contents had spoiled or been infected, but too many reviewers expressed similar experience with X-1. Oddly, a large number reported the opposite, a malty sweetness, so something wasn't quite right. Reasonably priced and not terrible, but I'd be reluctant to try again.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
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+

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.12/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought this at Stimmel's in OH for $5.99 a month ago, never seen it for sale again before or since. The beer is dark reddish brown colored, clear but with low light transmission, with an enourmous poofy foam that takes forever to recede. The smell is good, and in fact is the strongest attribute in my opinion. Loads of roasted malt and chocolate. The taste has a surprising amount of sourness in it, so much that I suspect there's something wrong with my bottle (maybe the bottle wasn't disinfected properly before filling, the flavor seems similar to a homebrew problem I had once). Anyway I can still get some chocolate flavor out of if but the sourness makes it difficult to enjoy. I'll try this again if I see it in MN, hopefully from a different batch, and revise the review in case I had a bad bottle.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes 4/8/11. Thanks to bwiechmann for sending this to me for winning his LIF.

A: Pours a very very deep brown, almost black with a chunky one finger head. Nice retention and some random bubbles patches left behind.

S: Lots of roasted/burnt malt with some coffee and hints of chocolate.

T: Overwhelmingly coffee flavored, which really is not my type of beer. There is also some chocolate and a little bit of sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied, seemed a touch thin. Finishes a little dry.

O: Not a huge fan, mostly of the flavor profile. It was just too much coffee for me. If it had a little more chocolate or roast and was a little thicker, I think it would have done the trick for me.

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Photo of oline73
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of herman77
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of Beerdregs
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
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).

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Photo of CRichardsMN
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown with a dense foamy head. Retained the head for the whole glass but left no lacing.

Dark roasted coffee, not much hops and slightly bitter.

Very deep roast and quite bitter up front. The finish is mostly clean but leaves a light bitterness as well. One downside is a slight metallic twinge in the scent that follows in the taste.

Very bright carbonation but not quite at soda pop. Full bodied.

I was good after one of these and had to switch to something different. Not because this was a bad but because it was pretty heavy, even for a fan of porters and stouts.

Grabbed this one at a growler fill night right at the brewery. It's a great time to go in a get to try all of the beers and sodas available. The price is also pretty fair (as low as $9 for a growler).

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber that I forgot about- probably pushing a year old. It didn't explode while in the cellar, so we are off to a good start! Pours a dark ebony with some garnet highlites when held up to the light. Minimal head but fine lacing. Nose- light roast, dark chocolate. Taste- quite dry, surprisingly spicy for style, chocolate, medium fruitiness, nuts. Carbonation is a little high, and the finish is metallic. Drinkability is not too bad.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

Pours a very dark black with some light hints of deep brown. Head is small, thick and creamy with a bit of brown hints. Smell is sweet and dry, very malty. A bit of chocolate and coffee.

Taste is really big in the coffee. Come chocolate notes as well, big malt bomb for sure. No hops to speak of. The dark malts linger on your palate for quite a while. Body is pretty light, reminds me of a dry stout (I'm thinking cadillac mtn stout) more than a porter.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into my standard shaker glass. The porter appears a hazed deep brown color with about two fingers of ecru foam. The foam settles to a thin ring in less than a minute leaving no lace behind. Nose and flavor are of medium roasted cereal grain, bittersweet chocolate, slightly spicy, sour, licorice notes, some smoke. Medium in both body and carbonation with a slight alcohol burn as the beer warms up.

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Photo of cmannes
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1pt 6oz Bottle poured into a Surly Stein.

Appearance: Very dark, if held up to the light, you can see a red tint. Very light foamy head.

Aroma: I might buy again for the smell. Coffee, Chocolate, like a very tasty mocha.

Taste: hmm.. a little disappointed. After all those wonderful smells, the taste is pretty simple. Malts, little sweet, just a touch of the coffee, but almost no chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This might be what's breaking the beer. It's thin, with a bit of carbonation, which I think is 'fizzing' all the flavor away.

Overall: I was excited by the smell, and then disappointed by the taste. So overall, an average beer.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle into DFH specialty glass on 10/30/08. Thanks to Deuane for sharing (and letting me keep the bottle)!

A - Deep walnut brown body with garnet and ruby highlights and three fingers of foamy beige head that transformed into quite a bit of thick, bubbly patches around the sides of the glass.

S - Lots of burnt roasted malt with a mild smokey character and hints of chocolate and coffee. A nutty malt presence also slips its way into the mix.

T - Opens with a surprising semi-sweet dark fruit flavor and a bit of sour twang that is eased by some mild chocolate notes. Malt possesses a burnt, almost charred character that is fairly acrid. A bit of nuttiness also emerges from the malt base, providing a bit more depth to the flavor profile.

M - Medium body with vigorous carbonation and a slightly watery texture. Finish is pretty sour and dry with a mildly bitter bite on the palate.

D - This porter is on the sour and smokey side of the spectrum. It's quite complex, actually, which I certainly appreciated. I was expecting a fairly straightforward porter and was pleasantly surprised with something different and against the norm. And everybody got to deviate from the norm, right?

Spinning, whirling, still descending like a spiral sea, unending!

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Photo of JackieTH
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cola translucent brown with a nice sized cap of light tan foamy head.

Smell: Roasted malt with subtle hints of a mild chocolate, smoke and coffee.

Taste: A heap of roasted malt from start to finish lightly touched by roasted coffee bean, dark chocolate lending a bitterness that becomes a bit more pronounced into the finish.

Mouthfeel: fair, but seemed a bit thin for the flavors present.

Drinkability: Average. There is a flavor note, possibly the coffee bitterness, becomes a bit too lingering in an otherwise decent brew that isn't hard on the palate. Note: This is my favorite Flat Earth offering to date.

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Cygnus X-1 from Flat Earth Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 210 ratings.
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