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
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Komodo Dragon Fly Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 173 | Reviews: 61
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 robwestcott
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of WastingFreetime
2.73/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from tasting notes.

Poured out a dark brown so dark it almost passes for black until you hold it up to the light. Two fingers of tan head stick around for about a minute and a half, leaving some mild lacing behind in their wake. The nose has an intense roasty charred character that almost overpowers the grassy green bouquet of hops. Honestly I was expecting more citrus hopping in the nose, but no, herbal and mint is what I got. However, there is a subdued citric hop aspect hiding behind the herbal maelstrom on the palate... but all of these things are almost smothered by how out of balance the charred blackened malt presence is, as it crushes everything in its path. It came across to me as more of an out-of-balance stout than a Black IPA, unfortunately. Medium body and carbonation levels.

In summary, way too much charred / burnt malt relative to the hopping for my personal preferences. But if you're into that sort of thing, than don't let my opinion stop you from giving it a try. You just might like it better than I did.

Photo of pixieskid
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of Urbancaver
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to heliosphann.

Pours black with a dense dark tan head. This is the darkest Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale I have seen thus far.

Scent of rich sugars, roasted malts, a hint of coffee, some sweet bitter hops and a touch of alcohol on the end. Good, but the strength of the roast is too overpowering.

Taste of dry roasted malts, a hint of caramel, tobacco, burnt sugar, and bitter, citrusy hops. Here again the roasted flavor takes charge and is not fully balanced with the hops.

Mouthfeel is light bodied, oily and viscous with a medium bite of carbonation.

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 chugalug06
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours very black with a nice taupe head. Head is quite soapy. Brew is very thick, like oil. Very modest head stick to glass, not quite lacing.

S - Very sweet scent... Almost smells like liquid soap... Not quite sure what to think about this one... Roasty, chocolate, and caramel. Very nutty.

T - Very sweet, but in a dark chocolate kind of way... The brew is quite unique. There's some roasty malts in this brew for sure... Lots of pine too. Not quite sure this brew fits the black IPA (ale) style.

M - Very uniquely bitter. Not your typical IPA bitterness, but more of a Stout's bitterness. Moderately carbonated, but slightly over done. Very think body with dry feeling.

O - Not quite my speed, but I could certainly see why others would love this brew. A good brew, but I'm not going to go out of my way to find another... A good brew in a great trade thank you Another6Pack!

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 TwelveOunces
4.48/5  rDev +21.7%
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.

Photo of GPHarris
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
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.

Photo of KFBR392
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hits all the points a black IPA should. On the medium bodied side on the pour that created a decent head, about a half a finger. Low amount of lacing left on glass.

Smell: Dark burnt malt. Dark chocolate, complex hops, with a lot of toffee on the front. The hops mix very well with the darker accents which create a very pleasant aroma.

Taste: Chalky malt on the front of this brew. An interesting sweetness in the body of the brew quickly pops up then is buried under some heavy hop bitterness. The finish is medium dry with a seemingly lacking character on the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, on the lower end. Goes down easily.

Overall: A pretty solid brew from Indiana. Has the feel of a smaller brewery but at the same time is something very enjoyable.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with some nice tan head that sticks around for a while and leaves a bit of spotty lacing. Looks really nice for a black IPA, much better than most--it looks basically like a stout. Smell is a somewhat reserved mix of roasted malts, with just a hint of citrusy hops. Flavor is largely stout-y though. This was bottled in January, but it just got to the store, so I was expecting it to retain some hoppy freshness. Not so. This is more of an Irish Dry Stout than anything. Nice chocolate, coffee, and roasted notes, a bit o leafy bitterness, but not much else. Just a slightly hoppier stout, if you ask me. MF is creamy and full, and drinkability is pretty good. I think this one suffers from it not being what it says it is. Definitely a good and enjoyable beer, just not what I was craving when I went for a black IPA.

Photo of Lukafer
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of chanokokoro
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of cnally
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of drizzam
4.12/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of readbaron
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of BWED
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A- Black, some faint brown highlight. Rich brown head. Delicate lacing around the glass.

S- Roast is big. Faint earthy/grass hop aroma. Almost an ashtray smell, but not severely off-putting.

T- Roast is mild in taste. Hops are mild too. Earthy.

M- Medium body. Faintly bitter, almost tangy. Rather smooth.

O- Very mild in every category, which isn't bad, but many attributes were just lacking. Ashtray aroma wasn't great, but it sounds worse than it actually smelled. It's a pretty drinkable Black IPA.

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 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 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 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).

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 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.

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