Cygnus X-1 | Flat Earth Brewing Company

Cygnus X-1Cygnus X-1
Liked This Beer
3.8 w/ 210 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 210 |  Reviews: 106
Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

 596 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

 758 characters

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 22oz bottle split with onix1agr and sourbatchkid. Thanks bud.

A- a steady pour gives about two fingers of tan head that settles quickly and leaves a few spots of lace and a nice ring on top. Dark brown with a sweet red glow at the edges.

S- big roasted malts with coffee and bitter chocolate. Some dark fruits and toasted bread.

T- lots of roasted malts and coffee with very bitter chocolate. Toasted dark bread and touches of fruit. Light brown sugar sweetness giving a nice balance to the heavy roast.

M- less then medium in body and medium carb.

O- this is a great porter. Lots of roast but never burnt on the palate. Just enough sweetness to keep the flavors going.

 681 characters

Photo of Arenbeer
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes

22oz bottle into a Snifter Glass

A- Pours a real dark brown with a frothy 2 1/2 finger tan head that sticks around.

S- Dark roasted malts with slight coffee notes and slight rye in the background. A good amount of smoke

T- Delicious dark malts that are so creamy on the tongue with a bitter smoked roastiness that lingers leaving sweet chocolate flavors and coffee.

M- Full bodied with higher carbonation and a bitter dry finish.


 456 characters

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.

 709 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Cygnus pours almost black, but clear, with little light shining through. Head is cream colored and thick at first, but settles quickly. Lacing and carbonation are both very decent.

S: Nose is all malt, with hints of chocolate, coffee, and charred bread. Just a hint of the rye in the backround, with some floral hop nots.

T: Chocolate and espresso show up front, with some roasted grain character. Dark fruits are also showing, and become more intense as the beer warms. Rye lends just a hint of spicy character, while hops leave a floral, dry finish.

Notes: This beer is medium bodied, and has a very creamy mouthfeel. It lacks a bit in body from what I expected, but flavor and complexity make up for it. A very tasty beer. I must admit, the first time I had this beer, it was an infected bottle, which turned me away, but now that I have had this again, I will be buying it more often, and I will be stocking it at the store in the near future.

 1,007 characters

Photo of afksports
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my beer buddy Mike in MN for this one. Cheers!

This star-system named porter pours a dark and rich brown with a tan head that sustains well throughout the drink. It smells rich and malty - robust and burnt to well done. Coffee aroma pulls through as another rich note. The taste is up front roasty and dark, which yields to a bitter malt middle, and it ends with a clean English yeast / English porter finish. The rye malts that the beer mentions on the bottle were not too present for me, but it likely is hard to notice much pulling through the heavy malts anyway.

Very muvch a standard medium body porter, this beer clocks in at 6.5% abv and the alochol isn't noticeable. I shared the bomber with my roommate and a friend of his, and I'd probably do it again. Overall this is a solid, but not overwhelming beer. I'd be lucky to have it on tap, because it's very true to its style.

 895 characters

Photo of budgood1
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours out of the 22oz. bottle a very dark brown colour. nearly opaque with a semi-lush tan head; big and rocky with some retention and clingy lace. typical porter aroma of cocoa, nougat and yeast. very nice nose on this one. dark chocolate and toffee flavours flood the tongue then recede to a spice and smoke nuance which gives way to herbal hop bite. some lactic and ale yeast ester and fruit notes waft in and out but don't assert themselves. pretty nice tasting porter. medium bodied with a thin feeling mouthfeel. lacking a more rounded mouthfeel does distract from the enjoyment. the flavours fall away to quickly to really savor. finishes on the dry side. nice drinkability...easy going and tasty.

a pretty good porter. lacks depth but is very approachable. recommended.

 778 characters

Photo of zeledonia
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown with a massive tan head that lingered. Smell is a bit light for a porter, more fruit and caramel malt and not quite as much roasted malt as I expect. Taste is nice, moderately complex, typical porter chocolate malts with some bitter hops following. Highly carbonated for a porter. Generally good, but not great.

 336 characters

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.

 903 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, black color with a one-finger, tan head of thin bubbly foam. It left some thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate, toffee and caramel. Slightly floral, too.

T - It tasted of chocolate, some roasty notes with toffee. Just enough bitterness to add balance.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied beer.

D - This is a really nice English-style porter. Very easy drinking and tasty.

 437 characters

Photo of tewaris
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stub & Herb's.

Appearance 3/5
Very dark brown and clear with garnet highlights and a medium head that dissipated into a thin collar rather quick and left some lacing.

Aroma 4/5
Mostly roast, lots of coffee, some very mute sweetness along with rye breadiness as the beer warmed up. Very nice overall.

Taste 4/5
Plenty of roast and coffee, slight sweetness, some acidity and a roasty finish.

Mouthfeel 4/5
Seemed thin and overcarbonated at times, but good in general.

Drinability 4/5
Good, but alcohol could drop a few points for a simple beer like this one.

 571 characters

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.

 636 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice and black. A hint of brown around the edges. Very light tan finger of head.

Lots of coffee on the smell. Hints of bittersweet chocolate as well and some roasted malts. Kinda heavenly.

Nice bit of coffee, and bittersweet chocolate, toasted malts and nice roasted character.

It's a bit thin, and a tad too crisp, even for a porter.

Pretty good drink. It's tasty, and something I would venture for regularly, but not in the same night.

 445 characters

Photo of lurpy1
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Beautiful translucent dark pour, but a meager, impotent little head. Expecting a bit more, but it looks like beer's supposed to look.

Smell - Mmmm....Olfactory's the sense this beer does the best on. Great mix of chocolate, coffee, malt.

Taste - The first couple sips didn't overwhelm me, a little bit of bitterness, and not the good kind of bitter. But the more I drink, the better I like it.

Mouthfeel - Room for improvement here. Lot's of carbonation imparts the sense I'm drinking ginger ale.

Drinkability - A pretty good, but not great Porter. I'll try Flat Earth's other beers

 599 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Appears black in the glass, but when held up to the light it is revealed to be a dark red brown in color. Forms a large fizzy head that reduces quickly to a ring around the glass. Little lacing.

S: Roasted malts and cheap coffee.

T: Roasted malts, acidic coffee, some faint notes of chocolate, cocoa, peat, and raisin. Quick finish leaves a thin layer of roasted malt character flavor to reside in the mouth. There is a slight "sour" bite to it as well. Mild bitterness.

M: Medium in body with heavier carbonation, leaves this beer feeling thinner than it actually is. Finishes dry.

D: A decent beer. Drinks well, but the roasted malt and roasted coffee flavor hang on a bit more than necessary.

 705 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap, stub and herbs MSP

cellphone notes

appearance: ordered a half pour - served in a 7oz glass - dark mahogany body, tan cap

smell: light roasted malts, chocolate, cherry and blackberry

taste: i enjoyed this porter a lot - chocolatey, sweet cherry/blackberry, cocoa, light roast coffee, a touch woody with smoke

mouthfeel: creamy, on the lighter side

drinkability: good

 379 characters

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.

 626 characters

Photo of mwagner1018
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark perfect deep coffee, dark brown with hints of red in the light into my Chimay goblet. Subtle off white head reduces to a light film on beer. Spotted slipping laces slide down the glass.

S- Deep roasted malt, coffee, bitter dark chocolate, light smokey aroma.

T- The taste takes on similar characteristics as the aroma. Deep roasted note, great smokey, coffee, with sweet malt, a mild acidity, nice clean hop bitterness to balance the deep flavors, subtle raisin, and dark cherry, hints of toffee and roasted cashew.

M- Medium body, carbonation delivers robust flavors nicely, good texture.

D- Great as the weather starts to cool, a great balance of flavor, solid ABV is hidden nicely, great depth and fits very nicely into the style. I really like this beer and will certainly purchase again.

 814 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany color with ruby highlights and a beautiful, two finger, light tan head with nice retention. The aroma is roasted malt, coffee, rye, and bitter chocolate.

The taste is incredible. It has all the flavors of the aroma, is mildly sweet, mildly bitter, and the best part is the roasted malt. This is one of the best tasting porters I have had in a long time.

Smooth, medium bodied, somewhat dry. and nicely carbonated. This is very drinkable, and very nice. I must seek this one out again.

 496 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Sort of light in color. Closer to the red end of the porter spectrum than black. Settles somewhere around auburn in color with a fluffy beige head. Aroma of See's Candies, mocha coffee, roasted grains. Nice, robust smell carries over into the flavor, which is similar but not as sweet. Black malts meld with a creamy iced coffee character. A porter through and through, not even remotely stout-like (this is an attribute I quite like, providing much needed separation between the styles). Very little roastiness or bitterness. Finishes dry. Mouthfeel is full and almost milky in consistency. Really a sublime porter in every way.

 662 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes in November 09

Dark mahogany brown with a tannish head which lasted an impressive amount of time. A wonderful nose that revealed fresh bread, a hint of rye, coffee, and cream. Upon tasting, I actually thought it was a sort of sweet stout with lactose! Robust and rich, although somewhat thinner body. Carbonation helps bring it up a bit. Velvety smooth and definitely quaffable. I approve.

 408 characters

Photo of Parrotbeak
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black at first appearance, but proves to be a rich, deep mahogany when held to the light. Light tan, two-finger head that recedes fairly quickly, becoming patchy yet full around the perimeter.
Smell is pleasantly bold, with coffee and fairly dark chocolate dominating, with a nice smokiness accompanying. Malty tones as well.
Taste is smokey malts, with coffee and faint dark chocolate. A woody smokiness remains through the finish.
Mouthfeel is very appealing. Nice bite from the carbonation, which also gives it a pleasant crispness, which yet still allows for enough smoothness to round it out quite well.
Very drinkable. Relatively low ABV and everything else I've noted make this one go down easily. I'm glad this is a bomber rather than a 12 oz. bottle.

 759 characters

Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz into a goblet

A - Pours a dark brown, to almost black. A few amber highlights. Head formation is just about zero, with just a light mocha colored film. Not much for obvious bubbling.

S - A strong pressed coffee note, almost acidic. Some chocolate malt notes come through. Almost could be roasted - but this isn't a stout. The lightest aspect is some yeast breadiness.

T - Starts off with a roasted, smoked malty note. mid-stream builds more bitterness, with a light american hopping note. Lightly match with some chocolate. The finish is strongly roasted, edgy, almost like a smoked or burnt barley.

M - Strong bodied beer - carbonation however is lighter, bringing it into balance. Sweet, clinging, and at times leaves behind a biting roasted note.

D - Fairly drinkable for a EP - sweetness and smoky flavors are strongly present but not overwhelming. ABV is potent, but manageable. I'd say the hardest aspect is to deal with a burnt aftertaste.

I really liked this beer - but half way through it I started feeling like i was living around a campfire at the campground - smoked and burnt wood. While that brings present memories in this cold time, it isn't necessarily a great beer taste.

 1,202 characters

Photo of popery
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice if not incredible porter. Cygnus X-1 pours a clear, dark cola brown with a medium beige head. The aroma consists of caramel, nuts, toast, bread, some chocolate and a bit of spicy rye. It's a pleasant, subtle porter, somewhere between English and American in flavor. The taste is a lightly dry. There's also a funny, slightly off flavor to the beer that I also tasted in Flat Earth's Angry Planet. It's not as strong here as it was there, but it's still an odd bit of background noise. Mouthfeel is a tad thin and carbonation is prickly. Good beer but wouldn't look to get another bottle.

 592 characters

Cygnus X-1 from Flat Earth Brewing Company
Beer rating: 64.3% out of 100 with 210 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.