Cygnus X-1 | Flat Earth Brewing Company

very good
106 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 209
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

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

I got this brew in a trade with feloniousmonk, Thanks Al!

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Black with a small beige head that thinned to a light layer leaving only a few spots of lace on the glass.
Roasted coffee and chocolate aroma.
Sweet roasted coffee flavor all the way through with a hint of some bitterness on the back end.
Medium bodied with a smooth feel.
Easy drinking brew.

 397 characters

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

I used to see this at various liquor stores with decent regularity, however over the past 8 months it seems to have vanished (the bottled form at least). When I saw a bunch of these at Zipps, I snatched them up. I figured I'd enjoy one and hand out the others as extras.

The color is very dark brown, with ruby highlights when held into the light. Small tan head and a little bit of lacing round out the look.

The nose is a nice combination of roasted malts with a nice toasty, smokey flavor, a sweet malt character, possibly brown sugar and chocolate.

The taste is similar to the nose, with a more pronounced roasted malt character and dark bitter chocolate, roasted coffee and cream. Bitterness from the roasted malts comes out in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a slow laboring carbonation. Drinkability is great, what a great session brew.

Overall, not my favorite Flat Earth brew, but it's definitely a good one.

 935 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bomber into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Very dark ruby-red (almost black) with thin tan head and slight lacing.

Smell: Smoke, roasted malts, chocolate, brown sugar and some spiciness.

Taste: Dry roasted malt with notes of dark chocolate, smoke and coffee. Turns more bitter at the end due to both a spicy and metallic bitterness.

Feel: Low carbonation, smooth medium body, exceedingly dry throughout.

Drinkability: About as dry as a Porter can get - which I like. Hard to stop drinking.

 523 characters

Photo of jjanega08
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A= pours a black color with a nice deep amber coming through with the light. the head is just a little off white not quite as dark as i like but it does have nice thick bubbles with some nice retention. its about a finger high and falls to a "thick" skin on top with pretty decent lacing.
S= nice and roasty. reminds me of the reason I fell in love with craft beer. that nice roasty smell. black burnt malt. possibly the slightest dark chocolate. really just nice and roasty though.
T= again really nice roasty smell. the taste reminds me a lot more of coffee than the smell led on to be. loads of roasty smokey flavor. much more roasted then smokey. really good but also somewhat light which leaves me coming back for more and more sips as the delicious taste leaves my pallet. prolly not the best thing for taste but great for drinkablility. I do notice a nice roasted taste in the back of my throat along with a small amount of hop bitterness tickling around back there.
M= Really what you would expect from a porter. They didn't try to go crazy making this creamy or super smooth. they really let this be a nice porter.
D= As I mentioned in the taste portion I think the taste of this beer is somewhat mild and delicate so I find myself constantly coming back for sip after sip to keep the delicious taste on my tongue. Great representation of a porter and really reminds me of why I began drinking craft.

 1,410 characters

Cygnus X-1 from Flat Earth Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 209 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.