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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 Urbancaver
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a bit of dark brown head. Looks very very dark and pretty. Smells very hoppy and a bit of roasted malt. Tastes a bit bitter. Lots of hops on the tongue with some solid roasted malt backbone. A bit too bitter for my taste but very solid mouthfeel.

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Photo of chanokokoro
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a unbranded nonic pint glass

Pours an opaque black, one of the "blackest" Black IPAs I've had; capped by light brown two finger fluffy head. Light roast, bakers chocolate, and hints of pine and citrus on the nose. Opens with robust roasted malt and semisweet chocolate notes which continue through the midpalate. Finishes with piney notes, a slight hint of citrus, and more bold roastiness. Light to light medium body, smooth, velvety mouthfeel with a touch of creaminess. Feels great on the palate. Really nice brew, will definitely visit again.

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Photo of wnh
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
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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Photo of Chaney
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I stole this one from the brother's fridge. Shhh....

A: Poured a pitch black, with a head that was only a shade lighter than the liquid below it.

S: More dark malt than citrus, very mild on the hop front, and very stout-like.

T: Some bitter lingering, and this reminded me of a low octane "Storm King": Hoppy stout with IPA tendencies.

M: Somewhat grainy in texture, with tons of lacing, and a good carbonation bill.

O: I though this was more of a hoppy stout than a black IPA. Decent...

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Photo of SuperNova777
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A:Pours a non transparent black with a solid tan colored head that falls fairly slowly,
nice lacing is left hanging around on the glass

S:Nose picks up a nice helping of roasted malts and toffee mixed in there as well,
deeper in some chocolate come thru. Hops are not really present which is a little

T:Initially on the front of the palate you get a dose of the roasted malts which
continues on into the middle, on the backend the hops finally kicked in but just
for a second before the bittersweet chocolate covers the palate that lingers on.

M:Felt the body might be able to use a little more umphh to it while losing some
carbonation, thick coating also covers the palate that hangs around throughout
the whole drink.

D:Pretty much this was a easy going and fairly tasty drink, I would probably throw
a little more hop bite on it but other than that it was enjoyable. Keep doing it
Upland you're getting there.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from the tap at the brewpub a superdark brown to black to a generic pint glass with a nice 2 finger long lasting foamy mocha head leaving a great deal of lace to the rim of the glass.

not at all subtle aroma of dark roasted malts and espresso.

super roasted malts, dark black espresso, mildly bitter to the back of the tongue - much less bitter than I had expected.

mildly carbonated, light bodied, mildly bitter.

drinkable - yes.

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Photo of arthuro11
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of pixieskid
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra in a recent trade; bottled Oct. of last year...

Pour is a solid black with a nice redish/brown head; half an inch or so.
Nose; roasted malts, a bit of chocolate, some citrus hop notes.
Taste; very roasty, rich dark chocolate, zesty herbal hops, a hint of citrus, and a lingering earthy/mineral note in the finish.
Overall; damn impressive for almost a year and a half old...fresh, this thing would probably be the quintessential example for the style.

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Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of DAllspaw
3.97/5  rDev +5%
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.

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