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
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
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Reviews: 61 | Hads: 176
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 chugalug06
3/5  rDev -21.9%
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! (887 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)

Photo of drizzam
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (973 characters)

Photo of hoosier3334
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
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. (282 characters)

Photo of wnh
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
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). (1,130 characters)

Photo of gtgood
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (853 characters)

Photo of BetweenTheLions
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
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! (747 characters)

Photo of HosP
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
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! (639 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 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. (271 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft. At Upland Tap Room in Bloomington, IN. Poured into a pint glass a dark cola like brown color with a tan head. Aroma is not as hoppy I would have thought but roast and licorice. Medium moutfeel. Subtle roast flavors with a fairly strong hoppy bitter bite at the end. Nice lace. Overall, would have liked to have more of a hop presence but drinks easy. (357 characters)

Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.07/5  rDev +6%
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. (627 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 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 readbaron
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (409 characters)

Photo of SuperNova777
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
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
disappointing.

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. (947 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 titosupertramp
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (579 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 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 robwestcott
3.88/5  rDev +1%
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. (442 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 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 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)

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