Dragonfly IPA | Upland Brewing Company

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Dragonfly IPADragonfly IPA
747 Ratings
Dragonfly IPADragonfly IPA

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
India Pale Ale originated when the British Empire was at its height. British soldiers and civil servants were stationed all over the globe (including India), and regular ales could not survive the long journey by sea to reach them. The British solved this terrible dilemma by adding excessive amounts of hops to their beer–using the preservative properties of hops to increase the life of their beers.

Our Dragonfly India Pale Ale is true to this tradition, featuring seven hop additions to create a powerful hop profile. A solid malt base, however, tempers the bitter American hops, giving Dragonfly a balance not often found in this style. The end product is a well-balanced, malty beer with the crisp taste of hops and an exceptionally floral nose.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-08-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 747 |  Reviews: 217
Photo of Joltman
1/5  rDev -71%

Photo of Cubbies819
1/5  rDev -71%

Photo of Kyrojack
1/5  rDev -71%

Photo of BEERWOLF1951
1.5/5  rDev -56.5%

Photo of SteelSaw
1.85/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I don't mean to be super negative. I couldn't finish this beer. It was so bitter it tasted like eating grass. And had a bad aftertaste. It is a no go for me. Upland does some good things from time to time. I thought their Wheat Ale was much better.

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Photo of G_Mad
2/5  rDev -42%

Photo of w_evans
2/5  rDev -42%

Photo of sweetlou25
2/5  rDev -42%

Photo of jaidenjb
2/5  rDev -42%

Photo of napetry
2/5  rDev -42%

Photo of A-Weize
2/5  rDev -42%

Photo of shirtless_mike
2/5  rDev -42%

Photo of Ryan011235
2.02/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into an Olde hickory glass on 12/3/12

Bottled on Aug '12

The color is a honey-brown sort of amber. One thumb head deflates slowly. Thin, wispy retention. Decent enough lace - forms into rings further down the glass.

An IPA with notes of dough, bread and candy that all but drown out a meager-as-it-is pine hop notion? It's the sort of thing that moves the old "expectation bar" down good few notches.

Dragonfly is loaded with dead IPA flavors - bread dough, candied sugars a hollow middle that's begging for oxidation, hop decay and a residual bitterness on the finish. I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't particularly hoppy to begin with.

The feel is a slick-up-front medium with a dusty finish. Carbonation is kept in check in the moderately low range.

If I find a fresher bottle I might give this another shake because it's disappointing as is.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.21/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Enormous head of bone china colored micro bubbles towers over a hazy orange body. Light carbonation streams. Some nice lacing.

Aroma has piney notes, bits of citrus, but also a hint of something off, cleanser (not pine) perhaps, lurking about. Not overt, but noticeable.

Taste begins with a slight sweet malt appearance that is quickly engulfed almost fabric like. Modest hop build up peaks at the swallow up never nips much less bites. Slight soapy aftertaste.

Too light, tingly mouthfeel, like supermarket orange soda.

With respect to drinkability, at halfway mark now trying to get it over with quickly.

A not bitter enough disappointment.

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Photo of GregBlatz
2.24/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Friend visited Indianapolis and brought me a variety of different beers to try. This was one of them.

Freshness date indicates that this was in either Sept or Oct of 2010. Hard to determine which one it was.

A - Lack of sediment indicates that this probably was a filtered beer. Copper/amber in color. Strong haze that contradicts the idea that it is filtered. Beautiful head that lasts. Laces the glass aggressively as it slowly falls. Rocky and pillow like rather than consistent in head type. Very nice.

S - It has that musty, malty and hoppy aroma that you might find in a Rogue beer that has turned(not sure how else to describe). Sweet esters are the dominant characteristic. No fresh hop aroma at all.

T - To be up front, this beer doesn't taste fresh. Although I would think Sep/Oct for a bottling would still be reasonable, my example is not fresh. Not sure if this is typical for the beer, or very possibly, my beer has had a long and brutal journey from brewery to my pint glass. Fruity esters dominate this beer. No fresh hop flavor or aroma to balance the esters or maltose. Bitterness is weak as well.

M - Nice velvety mouthfeel. Smooth consistent carbonation as well as a nice amount of cloying sweetness.

D - I wouldn't want a second of this beer if other options were available.

Overall - I don't know if this is a bad example or not. I would say that my sample was bad, but it's bottled date was not too long ago. I'll try it again and hope that it is a better beer than the one in my glass today.

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Photo of ljthockey7
2.25/5  rDev -34.8%

Photo of mrfrancis
2.25/5  rDev -34.8%

Photo of thinwhiteduke
2.25/5  rDev -34.8%

Photo of vinny21bal
2.25/5  rDev -34.8%

Photo of GregSVT
2.3/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a hazy amber with a big light tan head that lasts for a while and leaves ton of lacing on the glass. This is the best part of this beer unfortunately.

S: Not getting much from the nose besides a bit of a malty sweet smell and a slight citrus aroma.

T: The taste is off as well...tastes like it's oxidized but after reading some other reviews I guess this is what it's supposed to taste like. Tastes of malt followed by a sour orange flavor and the finish is slightly bitter...and I mean slightly.

M: The feel is pretty good...nice and creamy with good carbonation.

D: The drinkability is not there for me given the weird flavors.

Oh well...this was an extra in a trade and I let it sit in the fridge for a few months. I'd like to try it fresh but I don't know if it'd help it much.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.33/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

LOOK: Pours a hazed copper color with a white head and lacing.
SMELL: Floral hops, perhaps cascade, and pale malts.
TASTE: Faint hops and sweet malts. Not very bitter at all.
FEEL: Light bodied and thin.
OVERALL: Not much of an IPA. Pretty weak by today's standards.

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Photo of KevChiTown
2.33/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not a fan, weird malt base without enough hops.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.34/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Brassy rustic orange with a surprising number of superfine bubbles. The pale golden cap, currently filling at least three-fourths of the glass, is soft and airy, yet looks to be sticky enough to melt in an attractive fashion and to leave more than a token amount of lace.

The nose is too balanced. In fact, several more sniffs tell me that earthy, toasted malt has the clear advantage over hops, an obvious no-no in a beer of this style. Dragonfly was bottled a mere 4 months ago, which isn't nearly long enough for an IPA worth its hops to have faded to this degree. Ergo, it wasn't hopped enough at the time of bottling.

No surprise that the beer doesn't taste very hoppy either. What greets and overwhelms my palate is an odd, fruity sourness. It makes me wonder if I got a bad bottle. On second thought, I just went back and read my review of Upland's Bad Elmer's Porter and it looks like this strange sourness is a brewery trait. Either that or they're both bad bottles.

Earthy malt and spoiled, sour fruit are still #1 on the hit parade (make that the 'miss parade'). As a result, it's hard to appreciate any sort of hop flavor or bitterness at all. Maybe some of the latter, but then what good is hop bitterness without hop flavor? It's hard to believe the '7 hop additions' that the brewery claims. Maybe if they mean hop in the singular rather than the plural...

The crazy carbonation settled down visibly by the several minute mark so I wasn't worried that the mouthfeel would be too busy. And it isn't. It isn't big enough for the style, though, and is barely passable for an APA. I'm only giving it an average score because it works as a light IPA (which, to me, comes dangerously close to being an oxymoron).

Dragonfly IPA is the second member of the Indiana trio of 'fly' beers that I've had. I didn't much care for Barley Island's Barfly IPA, although it's better than this one, and I haven't yet had Oaken Barrel's Superfly IPA. Dragonfly doesn't have the bite of its namesake and is really little more than a pest. Time to call the Orkin Man.

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Photo of JoeQuinn1
2.39/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color: Orange light red

Smell: Very faint lemon, stale bread, very little smell

Appearance: Pours golden orange, white head that disapates quickly, No lacing, big popping bubbles

Taste: Tastes more like Fat Tire or Sam Adams Lager than an American IPA. However, it does have a faint citrus hop taste.

Mouthfeel: This is the strongpoint of this beer. Rich full bodided carbonation gives way to smokey creamy swallow. This beer awesome with a good old homemade sandwich.

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Photo of GreenWBush
2.49/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The first IPA I ever experienced about 5 years ago in the bottle had a chance to be reevaluated this past Saturday.

A nice orangey IPA color with a nice but modest head comes to me via Imperial Pint. Unfortunately there was but 16 oz. of beer in the glass. Damned stingy bartenders.

I was amazed to find that this beer is pretty unspectacular on tap. The nose was completely missing, I had to basically get my nose wet before I could even smell anything. I was also amazed by the slightly wet-paper flavors I could not be confused by. Being a tap room, shouldn't this beer be at its pinnacle of freshness? Maybe I was unlucky, but this seemed like no IPA at all.

Slight hints of medicinal bitterness throughout, light grains and sweet malts. Only the most minimal of lacings at the top of the pint glass.

In the bottle, this beer is spicy, if slightly thin, with a wash of hops at the end. As I sampled it, this was a half-rate Pale ale, nowhere near an IPA. They claimed it was dry-hopped, but I ain't buying it.

What a sad surprise, a suck-fest.

UPDATE: A rash of Upland beers have been appearing around Muncie. I had the chance to have this one on-tap again, and I have to say that I thorougly enjoyed it. Its hard to fathom that a beer could be better away from its brew-pub, but this one is. The above review must reflect a rushed to market product, because the pitcher I had was well rounded, and a hop-burp marathon. Updated score = 3.75

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Dragonfly IPA from Upland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 747 ratings