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: 209
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 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 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 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 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 supercolter
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So this is a very a good beer. My first by this brewery. Appearance is good, very dark small head and some lacing. Smell and taset are very similar. Lots of bitter chocolat, a vit of roasted nuts and some sweet malt. Not a lot of hop presence, but this is to be expected. Mouthfeel is also good, medium body and slight carbonation. Drinkability is very good.

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

Big thanks to BDLbrewster for this bottle in trade!

Pours a kind of flat looking dark black into the pint glass. Not flat, but not super-lively looking either. Smells like sweet, not just malt sweet, like there is some fruit in there as well. Taste is a lot different than anticipated. It's actually kind of sour, not really vinegaric, but tart. Like a raspberry tart porter. I thought it might have been a bad bottle, but then I saw others here experiencing the same. It's not really roasty or dry, more sweet. Mouthfeel is pleasant and coating, but drinkability suffered from the unexpected tartness. Not bad by any means, just different.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opened with signs of high carbonation. nice and loud hiss followed by lots of foam. Visibly fizzy but the lace is gone. I let it warm up a bit.
Smells like sesame oil?! Puts me off abit.
Szchuan inspired?

And yes it leads with an oily sesame flavor. Smokey, with bitter burnt matter. European licorice, the weird German stuff? Bitter moleasses with some dryness.

Kind of thin & astringent with complex flavors. Has some character to it but not my top stand alone porter.

Quite a sipper, I think to fully enjoy this some nice sweet BBQ ribs are needed. Pulled pork. Something with some sweetness I think. Barbeque some thing and enjoy it, as this one won't drink well on its own.

Let's face it, beer is usually ment to be consumed on it's own. I don't have time to get something edible to enhance my experience which is why I've been so harsh with this one.

Here is another Bottle;

I was really excited about this one but never found time to drink it; for one reason or another it's been around for a while.

Chilled in the fridge, I let it warm back up for a few minutes.

Poured out a HUGE volume of foam with only amount an inch and a half of beer. I'm guessing unpasteurized overly bottle re-fermentation. Lots of foam.

Dark blackness. Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, and dark rye bread. Sweet molasses. Very distinguished.

Huge beer. Really syrupy. Burnt carbon flavors, molasses. Slight dryness.
I bet this was so much better when it was fresh.

Decent heft to it but seems too sweet & syrupy.

Clearly needs to be consumed in season.

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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 prototypic
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow! This cap cracked with some force. The sound of that surely suggests overcarbonation. Let's see. Pours a dark, nut brown color. There's quite a bit of light getting through revealing nice burgundy highlights. Carbonation is too high. A light, mocha tan head easily reaches four fingers and takes a long, long time to dissipate. It's somewhat annoying. Lacing was nice and thick though. It'd easily be a little better if carbonation were more reasonable.

The nose is nice, but isn't a huge standout. Maybe a little weak. Roasted and chocolate malts are at the forefront and start things off nicely. They're quickly cut off by a strong rye aroma. I'm intrigued. A spicy flavor could...well..really spice things up for the style. Chocolate is resilient and re-emerges. Light coffee is noted toward the end. This is an interesting smelling beer. It's good. I'd like a little more muscle. That might bump it to the next level.

Indeed, this is an interesting English Porter. Chocolate malts and roasted malts (to a lesser degree) give it a nice base. Chocolate malts are more bitter than sweet. The spicy rye flavor is pretty aggressive and really sets this beer apart. Frankly, it wouldn't be very impressive without it. There's a slightly acidic or sour taste to it. It's a little misplaced, but isn't too offensive. Light coffee and a grain flavors emerge at the secondary level. No alcohol is noted. All in all, it's got a nice flavor. The rye is the driving force. Nicely done there.

It features a medium body that feels nice and robust. I'd love to say it's smooth, but the carbonation is extremely high, buzzy, and distracting. They really missed the mark in a big way there. Drinkability is above average, but the excessive carbonation hurts it. It's less pleasant going down as a result. Still not bad though.

My first experience with Flat Earth is a bag of mixed results. The big positive is that it has a nice, interesting, novel flavor due to the rye infusion. The big negative is overcarbonation. Way off the mark. Remedying that problem would do much to improve it. Nonetheless, I like the flavor and approach. Worth checking out.

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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 tedpeer
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint.

A - Dark brown with read highlights. Inch and a half off white head that settled to 1/4. No real lacing.

S - Roasted with slight smoke.

T - Roasted taste. Slightly sour finish. Metallic aftertaste.

M - Thin. Medium carbonation. Smooth.

D - Drinkable, even if it has an aftertaste.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a pretty thin head, but I poured a little soft, so that may have been it. Looks like a very dark cola almost with some good active carbonation. Reddish when held up the the light. 22 oz Bottle is a picture of space, but what is most interesting in this information, printed on the side:

English Pale, Brown, Amber, Chocholate and Rye Malts; fuggle hops; Irish Ale Yeast and St. Paul Water.

O.G. - 1.065
SRM - 25
IBU - 35
Alc. by Vol. - 6.5%

S: A sweet malty roast filled the air when I popped it open, and upon closer inspection, I found some good burnt caramel smells that I liked.

T: Taste is very complex, probably from the 5 malts they use ranging from english pale to chocolate and rye. Some roasty flavor, but still pretty sweet. Very low bitterness. Sweetness increases as my tounge becomes used to the roasted flavor. Actually quite similar to a heavy cola.

M: Creamy and a good weight without being too thick and chewy. great smooth texture. Very enjoyable

D: Very easy, very smooth. A pretty standard ABV, so not really sessionable, but if you have the tolerance it won't fill you up.

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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 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 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 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 optiontwo
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. poured into tulip

Appearance: Dark brown with a small amount of transparency. Quarter inch white head that dissipated fairly quickly. Lot's of effervescence.

Smell: Chocolate and coffee with a lot of roastiness, almost smells like burnt popcorn.

Taste: Coffee hits right away with some slight caramel flavors, light but enjoyable. Then the aftertaste...burnt popcorn. Maybe burnt caramel corn would be a little more accurate but after taking multiple sips there is no doubt in my mind that the flavor is in there. It's really actually quite interesting, I've never tasted a porter like this. There's some very subtle dark fruit flavors in there mixing with some sourness and smokiness but hard to distinguish.

Mouthfeel: This is another surprise with this beer, it's carbonated as hell. Lots of bubbles continuously streaming up the glass and the way the head disappeared looked like I had poured myself a root beer. In the mouth it's kind of a nice kick and makes for a very interesting mouthfeel. I'm having a hard time deciding how I'm going to rate it though...well, I will totally annihilate that bridge when I come to it.

Drinkability: Pretty high, it won't knock you on your ass and it's light bodied.

Overall: I've been wanting to try this for a while and I am kind of mystified by it. Since it was such a surprise I am enjoying it quite a bit and I would love to try it on tap but it just was not what I would expect from a porter. I don't think I would reach for this one to warm me up on a cold night like the bottle suggests, but I will reach for again when I'm at the store. I wonder what a Flat Earth stout would be like?

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into an imperial pint glass.

A-Poured with a minimal tan head which reduced relatively quickly. Deep brown beer, was pretty clear when held to a light. Little light passed through otherwise, with garnet highlighting on the edges.

S-Strong aromas of roasty, toasty malts with hints chocolate.

T-Mostly dominated by roasted malt, with nuances of biscuity flavors poking through. Hints of chocolate make an appearance, as well. No hob flavor, with low hop bitterness. A bit of roasted astringency at the finish.

M-Medium-thin body, I think a bit too thin for the style. Moderate, appropriate carbonation.. Silky over my palate, but a bit heavier silkiness would have been preferred.

D-This a good one, and one of my favorites from Flat Earth. Although not spectacular, it's very enjoyable and has been an enjoyable choice on several occasions. Also, nice with a meal, as I enjoyed the second half of the bomber with dinner.

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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 Deuane
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bomber of the "newly" bottled version. Shared with Ffejherb.

A-Deep ruby highlighted brown with a medium tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left behind spotty lace.

S-Light roasty malt, a bit of a sour twang with notes of smokiness.

T-Healthy roasty flavours with a bit of a sour twang in the finish. Much like the draft version a subtle smokiness builds in the more you drink.

M-Medium body with with nice lingering flavours.

D-A nice job with the bottled version. Not quite as tasty as the draft is. Nice to have a portable version though.

Headed for the heart of Cygnus
Headlong into mystery....

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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 garymuchow
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old bottle label.
Pours with a big foamy, fizzy head of tan color. Black with deep garnet hues in light. Clear. Nice looking.
Coffee and roast right off with hints of sweet dark chocolate. Doesn't deviate much from this throughout the drink.
Flavors match aroma quit closely. Nice dryness on the tongue and good long finish with only mild bitterness and no excessive sweetness.
Thinner than expected and flatter, considering the head. Moderately light feel, but it goes well with the beer.
This beer goes down nicely and goes down easily. Nicely drinkable porter.

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Photo of SrMonkey
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, almost black, with creamy, cafa au lait head.

S - Toasted grains with chocolate undernotes.

T - Starts off with french roast coffee. Baker's chocolate peaks in, but mellows as it warms, replaced by tobacco/smoky flavor. Finish is lactic acid tangy and metallic.

M - On the lighter side of medium for a porter, with creamy carbonation.

D - I could tip more than a few back, although the aftertaste - while excellent - tends to grate.

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Photo of deepsouth
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

was able to try this courtesy of barefootbrewer.

this beer poured a dark brown with red hints with three fingers of head.

the smell is coffee, chocolate, roasty & bready.

the taste is black coffee with some smokiness and chocolate.

the mouthfeel is medium to full with a good bit of carbonation. easy to see why these may be popping.

this beer was super easy to drink and at 6.5% i could drink it all day.

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