Komodo Dragon Fly Black IPA - Upland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Komodo Dragon Fly Black IPAKomodo Dragon Fly Black IPA

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BA SCORE
83
good

173 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 173
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 9
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: akorsak on 02-14-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 173 | Reviews: 61
Reviews by Jparker37:
Photo of Jparker37
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black and completely opaque when held to the light, perfect for what I look for in the style. Big dark tan head with small bubbles that leaves a little bit of lacing down the glass.

S - A good amount of piney/citrus hops. Some burnt dark chocolate notes(maybe roasted barley)but a great focus on hop smell. I find this to be a great mix of malt and hops. It is just malty enough but is dominated by it's great American hops. As the beer warmed, the roasted barley became bigger and bigger.

T - Some chocolate malts right up front that transition well into a great spicy piney hop flavor. With a medium amount of bitterness.

M - light to medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Finishes pretty dry.

O - I thought this was a great balance of malt to hop for the style. I ejnjoyed this IBA more than I've enjoyed others.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Tiny bubbled light tan lacing, as black as night. Dank piney hop nose with some dark malt action. Smooth and crisp with a thick medium body. That same piney dankness is on the palate but slowly fades, some bitterness comes through as well as a mellow unsweetened chocolate tone from the roasted malts. Very well balanced but I guess I expected a bit more hop forward flavors and bitterness for an IPA. A good sip regardless.

Photo of secondtooth
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice one, here. I dig the cool artwork (a winged Komodo dragon). Pours black as pitch, with a gorgeous lattice-work of lacing.

First off, the nose is roasty, with a hint of fruity hops. Nice.

Flavor is a wonderful mesh of dark, roasted maltiness with a tangy, hoppy zing. A really ideal black IPA, and one that I'll return to.

Wish Upland would make this one a year-rounder, as I prefer it to their regular Dragonfly IPA. In fact, this is my favorite Upland brew thus far.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The Komodo Dragon is an ok attempt at a black ipa. The beer pours an opaque black with tan head that is leaving a lace. The scent is faint with a little bittering hop and slight espresso present. The taste is fairly well balanced and finishes slightly bitter. The roasted malt is more prevalent than any flavor of hop. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with smooth carbonation. Overall its ok...far cry from Stone's SSRA.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is an opaque dark brown. It has a thick, frothy, tan head.

It smells more like a porter than a black ipa. It's heavy on the burnt malts with a touch of chocolate. There's a hint of pine.

It also tastes much more like a porter than a black ipa. The burnt malt dominates the flavor along with coffee and chocolate. The pine and ever-so-faint citrus adds a nice finishing touch.

The mouthfeel is much too heavy for the style, but still pleasant. Carbonation is just right.

Overall, I liked this beer but would have enjoyed it more if I was in the mood for a porter. It has a pleasant balance of malt and hops and good flavor, but is too malt heavy for even a black ipa.

Photo of alleykatking
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Review from notes.

A- Pours a black color. Almost looks more like a stout than anything else. One finger tan head comes and goes leaving light soapy lacing streaks on the glass.

S- The roasted malts come through more so than anything else. There are light earthy hops in this too that battle it out for the rest of the aroma in the beer. A little more roasted than I like in a black IPA but still smells good.

T- The flavors in this jump back and forth between IPA and stout. The burnt roasted malts come through first just to be knocked out by a light earthy hop. The chocolate malt notes bump the hops down the rest of the beer until the end. Citrus hops in the finish of the beer. Very interesting for a flavor complex.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation was a tad high for me. Roasted malts left on the palate with some ligh hopping thrown in the aftertaste with the malts. Light drying from the alcohol.

D- This was a interesting beer. It couldn't decide what it wanted to be and to be honest I was ok with that. Looking forward to cracking another bottle open to see if this was a off bottle or if that was their intent.

Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Heliosphann for this 12 oz bottle. I'm surprised that I'm the first to review it.

A: The Black IPA looks more like an American stout, pitch black even when held to light. A thick, craggy head with a tan color is slow to recede. As it does, it leaves thick glacier-like patches behind. That's a foamy ale.

S: The nose, also like a stout, has a heavily roasted presence. The surprise though is the citrusy freshness (it's easy to forget this is an IPA when you look at it) of the hops. They are leafy and vibrant, in ample quantities.

T: The Black IPA is an exotic concoction, much like a Belgian IPA. It has the fresh zest of hops with the roasted stout malts, tricking the tastebuds with each sip. This beer fits nicely into that definition, offering alternating takes on hops and malts. The malts are roasted, burnt and chocolatey. The hops, rising up like a phoenix through the malts, are citrusy with a strong consistency. The intersections of the malts and hops are most flavorful, with both fighting for attention. The roasted malts are the dominant aspect of the finish, leaving a scorched presence.

M: The mouthfeel runs all over the place, starting out with a dark, heavily roasted presence before turning resiny with thick hops.

D: A hoppy stout or a roasted IPA, either way you look at it, it goes down smoothly. Thanks, Scott, for this one. I'm fast becoming a fan of Upland.

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled in December 2010 so I know it's not exactly fresh. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch frothy tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. At this point, the aroma seems more like a slightly hoppy porter now, not that it's a bad thing. The brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and some piney hops. The hops do come out a little more in the taste. It tastes like pine hops, roasted and burnt/charred malt, chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit sticky with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good brew, although I would like to try a fresher bottle of this in the future. Definitely worth trying, I liked it.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. Bottled on J '10 notched on the label. No other info.

A - This black IPA pours very dark brown, almost black, but totally clear in the stream. In the glass however, one would easily mistake this for a robust stout! Completely black, so much so no light shines through, with a dense, rich, mocha head. The small finger stature is made up for by the fantastic retention and thick coating of velvety lace.

S - This is by far one of the finest black IPAs I've ever had the pleasure of smelling. The nose has a fantastic marriage of deeply roasted chocolate malts with mocha and light coffee and hops. Green, herbal hops exude floral and grassy notes without being too "green". The aroma has a fantastic balance!

T - While the nose seems to reach further into the roasted malt/ porter aroma than the IPA, the flavor brings it back. Immediately my tongue is brought to hearty pine and citrus-flavored hops with a longevity to the flavor despite the inevitable change. The roastiness comes in with a vengeance but never overshadows the hops. Totally toasted, almost burnt bread with cocoa and mocha flavor come in on the finish. It doesn't quite land the impression the nose gives but it sure is good!

M - Awesome balance between roasted malty bitterness and hoppy, citrus/ pine resin bitterness finishes with a really dry texture. Komodo is medium-bodied with a light finish from carbonation.

D - Komodo blends the best parts of an IPA with a deep porter seamlessly to deliver a great drinking experience. Delicious, well-balanced, beautiful, and fantastic smelling. What else can you ask for? It's one great beer!

Photo of lbaker
2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

(a) Did I buy a stout or an IPA? Was very thrown off by this beer. Definetly not what I thought I was buying. Poors a thick stout-like black with 1 inch of dark foam, thick lacing. Some carbonation and settling occuring. (3.5/5)

(s)Intense, but not the hoppy IPA I was looking for. Chocolate, lavendar? Hint of coffee or espreso. (2.5/5)

(t)I understand this brew has its place...but for these taste buds. Im really having issues appreciating the dry hopped hops over this stout like character. (3/5)

(m) the bitterness of the hops near the end is the only thing i really appreciated about this beer. Thick and heavy on the pallete. Who knows. Maybe its just because the sun is out today but this is a beer to be enjoyed on a stout run in December. Very dull in some points. (2/5)

(d) If your a stout fan, bottoms up. If you get this in an IPA session, throw it at the end because I'm contemplating heading to the drain with this one...and I havent wasted a beer unless its skunked. (2/5)

I love you Upland, but I gotta leave this one out of my lineup

Photo of DAllspaw
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep black with 1/2 inch mocha head whic doesn't last long. certainly the darkest of the style I've had but that's the nice, so I'm giving high marks, it's black. Fairly oily and viscous in the swirl, much more like a stout. Not much in the aroma, perhaps since bottled in November, but a bit of dank and pine, no citrus at all.

very pronounced chocolate malt and heavy roasted taste, with a nice IPA like bitter finish. Reminds me more of hoppy stout like Victory Storm King. would like to try fresh, very enjoyable.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black with a nice tight and compact head of tan that seems to come up around an inch or so before settling back down to earth and coming through with a nice medium layer of lacing around the sides, fairly impressed. aroma is hops, dark roasted malts, a touch of burnt brown sugar, hints of licorice and a touch of dark fruits as it warms, very complex. flavor follows suit nicely, albeit not as strong, but still very nicely done. rich dark malts and piney hops blend together with a deep roasted flavor

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with the label notched at bottled sometime in October 2013. Acquired this bottle as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's. No abv listed on the bottle anywhere. My second beer from Upland Brewing Company; moderate expectations.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark inky black; opaque in the glass with two fingers of fluffy creamy dark mocha head. Nice fat scattered lacing. Looks pretty damn nice.

S - Pleasant aroma - dark roasted malt, chocolate, lactose sugars, and a piney / citric / earthy hop backbone. Dirty, earthy, leafy, and tea-like in the aroma. A bit of soapiness. Smells pretty nice.

T - Taste is less refined than I was hoping for, but still pretty nice. Roasted malt, lots of burnt / charred coffee bean bitterness, chocolate, and earthy / citric / resinous hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Dark burnt coffee bean / malt roast & bitter resinous hops on the finish.

Overall, I have been generally impressed with the two beers I've had from Upland so far, and I look forward to more. This isn't the best example of the style that I've had, but it's a firm beer. Good pairing of stout roastiness and IPA hoppiness.

Upland Brewing Komodo Dragon Fly Black IPA ---3.5/5

Photo of Brent
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One of those beers where you give it the benefit of the doubt half-way through the glass, but, at some point, you look at it and admit "I'm not diggin' it." Nice dark color. Moderate roasted malt notes with some sort of odd, smokey flavor, almost like a smoke ale. A touch of infection or a brewing aspect - I could not make it out.

Photo of ThickNStout
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from zrab11 (thanks!). Bottled 11/13. Served in my Phish snifter.

Pours deep cola brown with a finger and a half pale tan head. Thin retention and very little lace.

Smells like the classic piney and roasted malts I associate with the style. A little bit of chalk and some biscuit but no curve balls here. Nothing to push it beyond standard.

Taste follows the aroma, again with no surprises. Pine, roast malts, toast and some grapefruit zest.

Medium light feel with moderate carbonation. Bitter chalky charred pine finish.

This was ok but nothing special. Unfortunately the best thing I can say about it is that it's not bad. Outstandingly average.

Photo of cwguy5
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brew date is 10/10. Sampled on 8/23. Poured into Foothills "pilsner"

A - poured opaque black with a thick, foamy, light brown, 2 finger head that settled to a fairly thick cap; left significant clumps of lacing; light sediment in the bottom of glass
S - smelled lots of dark malts, roast; some faint aromatic hops; light sweetness of herbal honey
T - tastes a lot like it smells - dark malt, roast, honey all present; semi dry overall; some bittering hops during the drying finish; not much alcohol present
M - pleasant thickness for style; a bit coating with good carbonation after the head finally died down; very smooth up front with long pleasant bitter linger with dark chocolate touches
D - i would definitely like to try this fresh, it is almost a year old; however it is very balanced still and overall a great drink; very easy going down with smooth mouthfeel; i assume there would be more piney, resinous hops or at least a larger presence of hops when fresh; want to try again

Photo of arthuro11
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours very dark for a black IPA, leaves very nice lacing. The smell is decent, taste is very good but leaves a burned aftertaste that may be perfect for some but strong in my book. Not as much hop in the smell or taste as roasted malt, but still plenty hoppy. I would drink again.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very first beer I found by Upland. Not sure if its a bad thing but I know they do fruit beers well. This is a difficult style to boot. Great price just $1.69 for the single.

A - For under 7% this beer is dark like stout dark with a deep cocoa head and everything. From just this I am convinced its a black IPA.
S - It's pretty much OK I do smell earthy hops and I appreciate no pine in my Black IPA so thats a bonus. On top of that the roast don't smell too harsh which I can appreciate. I sip.
T - It does have some pine in the finish so it's better than a "Black ale" This beer is pretty drinkable very balanced pine hop flavors mixed with a moderate roasty backround. Its pretty much what I would expect.
M - This could be the first Black IPA I think I could session. Easy flavors and a lower than massive ABV.

Overall they may have something here maybe they should take a step back at making Black IPA's big in ABV and stick to simple easy to understand flavors. For the price I would buy this again but sadly PA knows nothing of Upland. Still I will be looking forward to finding their beers.

Photo of titosupertramp
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark with mocha head..nice sticky lacing.

S: Green, piney hops..roasted malts.

T: Love the taste. Piney, citrusy hops mixed with roasted coffee flavor. Excellent balance..bitter finish.

M: Good carbonation, sticky..a little dry.

D: Smooth and easy drinking, but with loads of flavor.

Of the three offerings from Upland that I've had, this is easily my favorite. As far as Black IPAs go, this is my second favorite behind Sublimely Self Righteous...which isn't saying much as I've only had 4, but this is still a very tasty beer that I would seek out in the future.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from tburkhart, courtesy of the Under 100 IV BIF so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large brown head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character and flavors of black coffee and dark chocolate. Then a complementary hops bitterness comes in but it's a bit mild for the style. There's a little bit of citrus and spice flavor in the background. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, while there are better beers in the style this one is worth drinking for a while.

Photo of drdiesel9483
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Great look, lacing smell, very hoppy with a good malt backbone but really lacing body and carbonation

Photo of lightindarkness
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly black, murky, with a light tan head. Deceivingly porter-esque. Smells like burnt hops, somewhere between big juicy pine and citrus mixed with dark toasted bread, and a hint of corn. Taste presents a lot of character like a porter, with dry toasty almost smoky malt juiced up with a huge dose of hops. A little bite in the hops of zest and pine cone, with a snowy flavor washing out with some dark grains that leave the hoppy bitterness suspended over something more bready. I've had some black IPAs, and this one is rather unique and somewhat odd, but I'm finding it increasingly attractive. There's something in there that mixes summer IPA refreshment with the smells and sensations of autumn and winter. Great balance and strength. Not my every day drinker, but one that I could easily find a taste for.

Photo of tykees88
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice dark brown to black brew. It's got a java colored 2 finger head a little rocky. Great lacing.

S- Smells like earthy hops and roasted chocolate. A little coffee aroma as well.

T- Taste more like a hoppy light stout. But isn't that what this style is anyways? I like this alot though. Roasted flavor profile with a nice hoppy finish. Very chocolatey.

M- Medium bodied. Could do a little lighter on the body and alcohol and that would be great.

O- Overall I really enjoyed this beer and am happy that I picked this one up. I tend to stay away from upland because I find most of their offerings average to mediocre anymore. But this one is worth another visit.

Photo of HosP
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a locals twelve pack with 2 of these in it for a snowed in night.

A- Pours dark in color with 1/4" tan head.

S- Hop aroma up front. Piney hops mostly come through. Some roasted malt notes peek through at the end.

T- Lots of flavor, much more than I thought from the nose. Piney, with some citrus hop flavor up front and throughout. Some nice malt flavors come in at the end. The hops give a big bitterness flavor to it that stays with you.

M- Medium body. Moderate carbonation. A little dry with bitterness.

D- Very easy drink. Drank both bottles during the night. Good flavors, enough that I'd pick up a 6 pack of this sometime!

Photo of wnh
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled October 2010, reviewed 1/7/2011.

Pours a thick black with the faintest brown highlights, topped by a large, undulating deep tan frothy head.

At first whiff the nose is spot on for an Irish-style dry stout--flinty roasted barley, earthy cocoa powder, a bit of evergreen, caramel richness underneath--but when I search for it I find a good dose of slightly pungent and citrussy American C-hops that brighten the beer up a fair bit.

Somewhat confusing on the palate. Dominating, as in the nose, is a host of Irish dry stout characteristics: flinty grain, earthy chocolate, caramel; but lacks the creamy mouthfeel I expect to accompany those flavors. And, again as in the nose, there is added a seemingly out-of-place citrus zest/juice note.

Medium bodied, slightly thickened, moderately firm. A bit drying. Perhaps just a bit nutty and astringent. A good beer, if a gimmick. Really--and this is my general opinion of all so-called black IPAs--I fail to see how this isn't just a stout with a unique hop profile (which, it should be said, is largely drowned out by the stout notes).

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Komodo Dragon Fly Black IPA from Upland Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.