Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cygnus X-1 (Flat Earth Brewing, St. Paul, MN)

Cygnus X-1 Porter
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 tastings, they've tended to be few and far between. However, if my memory serves, the beer I'm drinking tonight seems to be a more robust offering than my first taste.

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 earthy spice coming out as it warms.  Strong malt with a roasty smokiness in the taste that's supported by a light but not thin body.  Ends with a pleasant bitterness that persists somewhat.

In reading Flat Earth's description, Cygnus is made with rye malt, which explains the bite that I noticed but couldn't place.  On the original tour, the style was listed as a Canadian Porter, which I don't understand any more now than I did then.  On the website now, it's described as an adjusted English Porter.  Cygnus is a slightly off centered porter that leans towards robust and is interesting to drink.

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.  I can see why the blend of Cygnus flavors works well with infusions, and I suspect that it might become a standard for me in the regular and altered versions.

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