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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

61 Reviews
THE BROS
81
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 176
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 6.25%
Wants: 9
Gots: 11 | 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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 61 | Hads: 176
Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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 (503 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a dark brown, almost black, color with a very fluffy tan colored head and some nice sheets of lacing.

S: The primary aroma is roasted malt with some coffee notes and a noticeably acidity.

T: Like the nose, the roasted malt is the primary component along with coffee, an acidic note, and a bitter finish.

M: The body is medium with a lively and tingly carbonation.

D: Not sure if the high carbonation and acidity were due to infection, but this one just seemed a bit "off". For a black IPA, this wasn't all that hoppy. (536 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (919 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (469 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 01/21/11 notes. Brought to a small tasting by jslot38; thanks Justin.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla.

t - Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and vanilla.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - Good, but did not seem like a black IPA at all; seemed mroe like a stout/porter. Would have again. (419 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured a dark brown color with a half inch mocha colored head. The head faded and clung to the sides of the glass, but left some nice lacing as I drank it.

I'm getting an almost equal amount of the roasted, coffee and chocolate malts and the citrusy hops. They almost seem to cancel each other out though and leave a pretty mild nose overall.

The taste has a lot more of roasted coffee and burnt flavors then anything else. The finish especially showcases the burnt coffee bitterness. I get a little of the hops and citrus coming through but not nearly as much as I would expect in an IPA.

The mouthfeel was pretty fitting with it being medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Drinkability isn't bad, it had some nice stout flavors to it. My main criticism is the marketing this as an IPA. I didn't find it very hoppy at all and instead found it had some pretty big roasty and burnt flavors. I'd say that Night Stalker may be closer to an IPA than this beer. I liked it though. (1,031 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (1,411 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (420 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 5/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus and dry hops, roasted malt, hint of sweet malt, and hint of coffee. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of dry hop, hint of citrus hops, slight sweet malt, and hint of roasted malt. Overall, good appearance, blend, and body. (404 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (711 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,099 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
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! (1,669 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with minimal garnet highlights and a solid deep tan head that dissipates slowly, leaving lines of lacing.

Roast malt, coffee, and dank hops form the initial aroma, with earthy notes dominating.

Hops become more floral and citrusy in the flavor, still dank, with a backbone of heavily roasted malt and coffee extending into the finish, which is fairly coffee-bitter and dry. Notes of resin and fresh cut grass emerge, along with dark chocolate.

Body is moderate, with carbonation on the low side. There's significant hop astringency at the finish.

Black ipas usually suffer the same fate as this brew. Extreme can be great, in both malt and hop flavor...if the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The flavors just don't jive in this case. (771 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.3/5  rDev +12%
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. (1,123 characters)

Photo of Brent
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
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. (332 characters)

Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (629 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
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... (492 characters)

Photo of portia99
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (bottled in Oct '10) received as a great extra in a trade with jpmclaug. Thanks! Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours thick and syrupy (looks more impy stout than black IPA) and almost totally opaque pitch black color. A cappucino colored dense finger of foam caps this initially and fades slowly over a minute or two to a some surface islands and an uneven collar around the glass.

S - Nice hoppy aromas up front. Citrus - orange and grapefruit with some hints of pine battle a bit against the dark roasted malts with give a bit of a coffee scent underneath the hops.

T - Roasty and coffee like at the base with some floral and herbal flavors in the mix. Hops are bitter and citrusy. Bitterness from the malts is acrid and heavily charred. Overall gives a burnt character with some alcohol flavor and the flowery hoppiness that I'm finding a little bit weird.

M - Body is light/medium with a hefty carbonation level here. Burnt flavors abound and are present well after the swallow...doesn't give the impression of a balanced bitterness either.

D - Interesting beer. The hops blend in nicely with the powerful roastiness at the base of this beer. However, there are some strange flowery/herbal flavors that mark this one down a bit for me. Roast is a bit too high for me also, would prefer it to be a bit smoother. Black IPA fa.ns should at least check this one out (1,384 characters)

Photo of JamesS
4.8/5  rDev +25%
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. (300 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
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 (1,251 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (1,165 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (477 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
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. (871 characters)

Photo of cadaugherty
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap 12/18 while picking up the new batch of Lambics-

Appearance- Dark black with a minimal head and some lacing.

Aroma- Mainly roasted malt. Some pine needles, pretty mild.

Taste- Again the roasted malt comes through. The piney hops do come through in the taste a bit. Not too bitter on the finish.

Mouth/Drink- Thin but easy to drink.

Honestly I was not super impressed. Looking at some of the other reviews I'm not sure if I got a bad pour at the end of a keg or if my taste buds were out of whack but I did not get any citrus off this beer. (556 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (683 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Komodo Dragon Fly Black IPA from Upland Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.