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Komodo Dragon Fly Black IPA - Upland Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

61 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 178
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%
Wants: 9
Gots: 13 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Komodo Dragon Fly Black IPA Alström Bros
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Reviews: 61 | Hads: 178
Photo of JamesS
4.8/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a great deep brown/black color with great head and nice lacing. Excellent malty aroma with nice hops underneath a good roasted grain scent. Great roasted grains with a wonderfully Earthy hop finish, a very nice mesh of dark malt and hops. Went down great with just the slightest hop roughness.

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Photo of BetweenTheLions
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears opaque with a slight edge of coca cola type color. Beautiful tan seafoamy head that gives off a wonderful roasted aroma with chocolatey undertones. A whisper of hop aroma.

At first sip, it seems to be chocolate roast dominant, with a very light hop flavor. I figured it would be hoppier, being an IPA - and as I take more sips the hop flavor is sure enough starting to come out. A nice herbal, with a hint of pine hoppiness. It's very well balanced and quite frankly delicious. It feels really smooth in my mouth, with a silky Consistency-Carbonation marriage. The moderate hop taste and roasty flavors come together so lovelily. It's art in a bottle.

I'll definitely go for another. Very drinkable. Props to Upland for this unique brew!

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12Oz poured into a Guinness Pint

A- Pours black as night with a finger and a half of a brown head. It looks like a big stout. Beautiful stuff. Somewhat oily on the edges of the glass
S- Very sugary. Lots of sweet caramel malts. Piney and floral hops are all over the place. Good amounts of coffee. This is what I want and expect in a black IPA.
T- This beer hits me with a 50/50 balance of dark coffee malts and a piney hop character at the same time. Espresso and floral hops.
M- This is a pretty big beer as you would expect. It leaves your mouth slightly dry and sticky. Aftertaste is dark chocolate and some bitterness. Pretty easy to go down but very filling at the same time.
O- This beer is excellent and relatively cheap, Maybe im just a sucker for black IPA's but this is a great beer. Will definitely be buying again.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a three-fingers thick coffee-colored, dense, fluffy head into a snifter. the head was long-lasting and left thick sheeting and nice lacing throughout. the body was dark black.
s - roasted coffee with some piney hops. as it warms the coffee sweetness really comes through.
t - piney hops and burnt coffee malts. the hops come through more as it warms. opposite of the aroma which really balances this one nicely.
m - very bubbly at first but smooths out.
o - very nice and this is incredibly similar to a homebrew ABA i have done. overall this one is more malty and roasty than hoppy but there are enough hops to satisfy.

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Photo of hoosier3334
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After drinking this, I can officially say that I am a black ipa fan. The maltiness shows up and holds its ground vs. the hops, but ultimately the hops do prevail. What ends up coming through is a nice hop bite with a smooth malt flow, which ends up being a great brew in my opinion.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to davidpietruszka for the sweet extra. Bottled October 2010.

Pours a thin, very dark brown, almost black, with a big dense medium-tan head. Great head retention and lacing. A thin layer of foam persists throughout.

Smells primarily of very dark roasted malts. Some char and bitter chocolate, combined with a faint hit of citrusy hop. Nice.

Taste is excellent - more bitter chocolate, the same background of faint citrus. It's got the dark roast of a stout, with the gentle hoppiness of an IPA - just what this style of beer, whatever you call it, should be. Finish is lightly bitter; the big wave passes quickly, but a thin tail hangs on for a long time.

Body is medium-light, carbonation maybe a little lower than I'd like. But just fine.

A really solid beer. I suspect the hop presence is even better when it's fresh. One of the better black IPAs I've had.

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Photo of cwguy5
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
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

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Photo of mynie
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Indie tap room. It's neat to see that black IPAs finally have their own category. Even if there's a huge amount of variation within that category, it's neat that we can now begin to standardize them.

So--how do most black IPAs operate? There are those that taste like amped up browns, then there's the ones that are like regular IPAs only with a little bit of dark roasted bitterness or smokiness. And then there's one that are off the chain, they taste like there's something else going on in the malt, aside from barley.

This one falls into the first category. It's very stouty. Smells like an English dry stout that's been brewed with medium-alpha American hops. Tastes like a porter up front--dark barley, unkempt and lively, that's mostly bitter but also a little sour. This gives way to a rush of standard, west coast American hops and the malt appears to almost round itself out, become more biscuity and less bitter, by virtue of it being placed in contrast to the hops.

It's a nice, variegated flavor--not particularly adventurous for the style but still very interesting and very well-brewed.

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Photo of gtgood
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well, I'm not sure if this is a "black IPA" or a "black ale" or whatever... and I frankly don't care. It's a very tasty brew and definitely one of the best I've had from Upland.

Poured it into a mug and got a nice, thick head. Both the head and the beer are surprisingly dark. If I didn't know any better, I'd have thought it was a stout from looking at it. After tasting it, I find it's deceptively light and smooth, but packs a lot of dry, roasted flavor--quite bitter, but with a hint of sweetness around the edges, much like dark chocolate. It has quite the hoppy finish--thus the "IPA" in the name, I'm assuming. Personally, I think it tastes a lot like a porter, albeit a really, really dry one.

It's something of an odd beer, but there's no denying its drinkability and all-around deliciousness. Will certainly drink more of this in the future.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of titosupertramp
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

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Photo of HosP
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
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!

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Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black in color with a fluffy espresso colored head. One of the blackest Cascadians I've ever seen. Fully opaque with excellent lacing.

S: There's a good dose of roasted malts and coffee with some citrus hops and a bit of cocoa.

T: Light flavor of roasted malts followed by pine and citrusy hops. There is a mild char bitterness with notes of coffee and cocoa.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation. Surprisingly clean tasting considering the heavy malt presence.

D: A very good, very flavorful Black IPA. This beer does not back away from the deep roasted malts in the least, yet it comes together wonderfully.

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Photo of drizzam
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled December 2010.

A - Opaque black body topped by a thick one finger dark tan head. Decent head retention and a nice veil of lacing down the inside of my nonic.

S - Dark roasted malt mixes with subtle hop aromas that present themselves in the form of grapefruit and pineapple. There also seems to be just the slightest hint of coffee and chocolate floating around in there. This is a very delicious smelling brew!

T & M - The aroma did not betray the tastebuds. A healthy dose of hops play with that same dark roasted malt I smelled earlier. The hops seem a bit more earthy tasting than what I expected, and the citrus takes a bit of a backseat. More pine than pineapple I think. Coffee appears toward the back end and finishes this treat with a sort of drying ending. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D - This is an excellent representation of the style, and a damn fine brew from Upland. If it was sold in my area, I would certainly keep a sixer stocked.

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first taste via bottle extremely disappointed me. I guess I was expecting something more along the lines of Stone - Sublimely Self-Righteous or Grand Tetons - Trout Hop of which it is neither.

My second taste begged for a reexamination and I was somewhat pleased. The light-hopped nose and rich roasted-malt flavor really foreshadowed the chilly midwest winter.

My third taste sealed the deal. On draft at the Upland brewpub with good friends (on a road trip) over a dinner of bison filet. As the rain fell outside (with a blizzard on the radar), my weekend dedicated to drinking good beer, I could not have been happier.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of tykees88
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of iuhophead87
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a growler purchased at the Upland tasting room in Broadripple .

A- Interesting! If I didn't pour it from the growler myself, I would swear that this beer was a stout. A very dark brown/black body with a tan head. It does leave small amounts of sediment on the side of the glass when swirled around.
S- The sent is very roasty and coffee like with subtle hints of earthy hops. I sure am glad that the hop smell does come through the roasted malt scent. After all, I'm about to drink an IPA.
T- At first taste, my taste buds were very confused. The malty burnt chocolate hits your first. Then the hops jump in and make you remember you are drinking an IPA. Although the citrus hop flavor does come through in the end, the burnt chocolate flavor is dominant.
MF- This strange concoction is a little lighter in the mouth than it appears in the glass. The hops do give enough bitterness that leaves your mouth a little dry wanting more.
D- I am a little confused by this beer. It is easier to drink than a stout, but not as refreshing as a standard IPA. The alcohol is hidden by all of the burnt earthy flavors. I will continue drinking this beer, but don't know how many I would want in a row.

I do enjoy the creativity, but it is lacking a little something. I wish there would have been more of a hop flavor to this beer. I am a huge fan of Upland and wish they would have been around when I was a student down in Bloomington. I think I was just expecting something different with this one. Overall a great beer, just not what I was expecting. I know I will drink this beer again in the future, but is not something that I will go out of my way just to have.

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Photo of Jparker37
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of cnally
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upland bottles can be hit or miss. Hopefully this is a hit.

Appearance is a deep black, opaque with an initially creamy light brown head that ends up looking soapy.

Pronounced hop aroma and quite piney at that.

The flavor really combines some of the great qualities of an IPA, with its spicy hop and latent bitterness. There is a good dose of a smoky,burnt malt which I have grown accustomed to in a black IPA.

Feel is crisp and balanced. Good.

I think this is refreshing and hearty like a black IPA should be.

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Photo of readbaron
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent plach with a bit of head and nice lacing. When held to the light a hint of ruby red shows up.

Smells rich - a combination of piney hops, fruit, chocolate, and caramel maltyness.

Tastes like it smells - anoint of wintergreen/pine makes it highly refreshing, and blends well with the fruit and malt.

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium/heavy bodied, yet still crisp.

Definitely drinkable.

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Photo of Lukafer
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours black with a pinkys worth of tan head. Looks like a stout.

S- Chocolate, roasted malts and some hops.

T - Coffee, and hops with some alcohol in the end. More stout flavors than IPA flavors, I think it should be in a different category than American IPA. Interesting beer.

M - Not too watery for an IPA, maybe a bit thin for a stout, but it is an IPA?

D - I could probably only drink a couple of these on a sitting, but it's something I would buy again.

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Komodo Dragon Fly Black IPA from Upland Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.