Dragonfly IPA | Upland Brewing Company

213 Reviews
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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-08-2002

For Trade:
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Reviews: 213 | Ratings: 727
Photo of SteelSaw
1.85/5  rDev -46.2%
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 Ryan011235
2.02/5  rDev -41.3%
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 -35.8%
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 -34.9%
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 GregSVT
2.3/5  rDev -33.1%
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 -32.3%
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 BuckeyeNation
2.34/5  rDev -32%
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 -30.5%
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 -27.6%
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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Photo of deejaydan
2.54/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not a good one. Pouring was out of control foam. It took a good 5 minutes to get half a bottle in a glass. Pours (finally) a hazy orange color. Aroma is funky, not hoppy, not malty.. just *off*. Taste is bland for an IPA. Not enough hops and malt going on. Perhaps this would be an okay APA, but it is not an IPA. Blah, not something I'd get again.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.56/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean copper/ orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, grainy hops, and almost smokey. In the taste, piney hops, and a smokey maltiness. A bitter and medium mouthfeel, with a semi dry hop and small smokiness in the aftertaste. I don't get the smokiness in the this one, I hope to try it again, but for the first try...eh!

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Photo of cameraman
2.6/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a medium amber color with a hints of gold along the sides of the glass. A substantial white head forms (almost like a pilsner), three inches thick, even when properly poured. The had har incredible retention. Now this is where it gets even stranger. The aroma starts with sweet candy like fragrance, much like some belgian beers. This followed by a very pleasant floral and grassy scents. The taste has the malt at the start, then the hoppy citrus flavors come out. But, just when I think we have an IPA, the flavors of spices, mostly sweet in nature, strike the palate and finish the flavor off. A medium bodied feel, a jeavier feel than it would appear to have. Drinkabilty, is hard to figure out I expecting an IPA, and getting someting completely different.

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Photo of Treebs
2.6/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle served in a Great Lakes shaker pint . Bottled January of 2012. Thanks to mattboyer182 for the the extra

A: Pour a clear amber color with a thick and frothy one finger height of foam forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to a thin cap and thick collar. Thick rings of lace are left down the glass.

S: Bread malts with a light earthy dirt hop smell. It's really hard to pick it out and it really doesn't smell like much. They are all very light.

T: Odd hop flavor. Almost like they are slightly spoiled. The hop profile is just weird. The malts are bready and pale in nature and dominate the finish. As the beer goes on it gets more palatable.

M: Lightly bodied and has a medium carbonation. Luckily the finish is near flavorless and it's easier to swallow.

O: The beer looked great, but in the end I just didn't like the hop profile and the flavors were just light. I love the lambics by Upland, but I've been underwhelmed by there other offerings.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.62/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - pours a murky dull orange, two fingers of pale orange foam above. Melts to a thick creamy cap, plenty of lace on the glass.

Aroma - a light whiff of grain, a faint essence of grapefruit. Very light.

Taste - a rather thin grain base, some general malt sweetness. The hops have been in the bottle 8 months but taste like they're two years old. No zip, zest or life, just a blase bitterness with a bare citrus edge. There is some drying on the aftertaste but just no substance. Sparks of citrus come out as this warms but the flavors faded mighy fast methinks.

Mouthfeel - some good body, oily smoothness per the style. Carbonation is moderate.

Drinkability - not bad, just kind of boring. A fresher bottle would likely yield better results, so I'll keep my eye out for this one.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
2.62/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2


light bright orange color.. nice thin creamy head and mild lacing. smells of sugary malts and alcohol soaked hops. very much like an american barleywine. lots of smoke in the nose as well, almost like your neighbor is barbecueing (i checked, he wasn't). the flying bug is an assault on the tastebuds. big bitterness alongside the tangy character of a grapefruity hop. why is there so much alcohol coming through the flavor of a 6% beer? body is so light that the experience, as a whole, is like getting hit by a train. a big crashing mess followed by silence with no sign of what just happened.. a slight waxy aftertaste perhaps. this beer has some good aromas and a generous portion of hops, but a bloody mess overall and an experience i will not repeat.

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Photo of falloutsnow
2.62/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

From: Gift from KR, thanks
Date: Bottled 2013-10-??
Glass: standard US pint glass

Going against the trend of American IPAs, Upland produces its Dragonfly to be minor in fruit character, more notable in floral aromatics and pine flavor, and notably bitter and astringent. The malt base is well-subsumed by the hop bitterness and flavors, though the hops, unfortunately, don't seem to contribute that much depth of character or substantial flavor aside from pine and light citrus. The fruity ester contributions from the yeast are also overshadowed by the hops. In all, not a bad beer, just nothing interesting to me and not one I'd return to.

Pours a 1.5cm tall head of off-white colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles, leading to a frothy appearance. Retention is average, the foam lasting one minute in a decline to a thin film atop the body of the beer for the duration of the session. Lacing is good, with some thick patches of dots, lines, and wave-like patterns clinging to the walls of the glass. Beer's body is a medium-dark golden orange color, with light revealing bright shades of orange. Carbonation visible through the transparent body, moderate in number and activity..

Aroma is of light floral-like hops atop even lighter fruity esters from ale yeast and a vague orange peel and malt sweetness in the background.

Flavor is bitter, with subtle floral and grapefruit tones over a dry, caramel-like sweetness. Front of palate is of moderate pine and citrus-like hop flavors with a background pale caramel-like sweetness. Mid-palate is of spicy and bitter hops, continued pine and citrus-like hop flavors, mild ethanol (moreso when warm), and a light to moderate light caramel malt sweetness. Back of palate primarily tastes strong hop bitterness with pine resin characters and a bit of ethanol; the malt largely vanishing at this point. Aftertaste is of a strong and lingering bitterness, drying, slightly pine-like, little to no malt character or sweetness.

Beer is medium weight in body, not watery, with carbonation of medium to medium-high intensity, resulting in totally foamy mouthfeel that's a bit too pillowy for the style (there should be some fluid smoothness). Closes dry, with medium-high stickiness clinging to the palate.

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Photo of SupaCelt
2.64/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This one displayed a stained orange tan colour. I poured her like a champ and she blew me a big, crackling, beige, sudsy bubble head. The head fizzled out and turned into that dried out looking shell. Like a head skeleton. Eventually it was nothing more than some spit floating and clinging to the glass here and there. The carbonation was pretty slow and lazy. Fairly sparse as well.

Smell: Very uninspiring I'm afraid. First whiff threw off a raw sort of hoppiness. It was not an appealing hop aroma. Just sort of a vegetable stock type scent as if it were a hop stew I was nosing. Very homebrew -esque. This is pretty weak. There is just nothing here. Smells a bit sour and bready. I can smell yeasty qualities. No succulent plume.

Taste: This is a weak pale ale at the most. Watery caramel malt and a very underdeveloped hop character seem to be the extent of the flavour. It is vaguely bitter in the finish. IPA? It can dream. This just seems very poorly crafted to me. Especially being that it is an IPA. Abrupt is a fitting description.

Mouthfeel: Who cares? It is light. Watery. Low in effervescense.

Drinkability: I hope my sink drain is thirsty. What a disappointment. I was stoked to see this on the shelf and then it took my money and ran without giving me anything. Is this made with real dragonflies? Avoid.

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Photo of mynie
2.7/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Double Dragonfly is surprisingly good. This one--not so much.

Pours like a regular ol' IPA. Smells like a very malty IPA. Big, biscuity nodes of malt starts things off and are balanced just a little bit by some solid-smelling west coast hops. So it's like an English malt profile with some American hops? That could easily work...

But it don't. Everything is too earthen, and it's way unbalanced towards the malt side of things. Still, a lack of balance is usually plenty tolerable (deserving of at least a 3.0). The trouble here is that there's a weird end notes and aftertastes of spoiled fruit and sour grain. I've had it from the bottle a couple of times and each time figured it was stale, but this was fresh from the keg.

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Photo of number1bum
2.71/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up while going through Indy a month ago. Pours a pretty clear copper color with one finger of off-white head. Keeps a thin but full lace, and leaves some nice webbing on the sides.

Smell has some musty and earthy hops, a bit of citrus, but really is not all that hoppy at all. There is some bready, caramel malt as well. Meh.

Taste is not any better. In fact it's worse. Hops have some feint earthy and citrus flavors but the flavor profile is dominated by caramel malt and some biscuit/bready flavor. There is also a sharpness in the finish that I am not really digging. It's slightly astringent, with a modest bitterness in the finish as well. I'd settle for meh here; this is more like blah.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but suffers from the aforementioned sharp/astringent flavor in the finish. Not very smooth at all for an IPA, nor creamy.

Boy is this one a disappointment. I've only had a few things from Upland, all their fruit lambics, and I find it very odd that they can brew those so well and a basic beer like an IPA so poorly. I have a Double Dragonfly left in the fridge, but I can't imagine that being much better given this level of mediocrity (or sub-mediocrity even). We'll see.

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Photo of KI9A
2.71/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: pours a nice, dark/orange. Good head, nice lace. Some floaties.

S: Sweet malt, some hop.

T: Meh. Lots of malt, which is fine, but, the hops don't measure up. The hops seem to have a very rough, gnarly edge to them.

M: Medium. Weird bitterness. Not pleasant

D: The rought edge of whatever hops was used is not appealing. Was a drain pour after a few sips. Letting it warm a bit produced an even rougher edge.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.75/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: Medium tea-like hop aromas. Moderate caramel character.

Appearance: Dark amber pour with a low off-white head. Tight bubbles retain reasonably well. Appears moderately effervescent in the glass.

Flavor: More caramel, bread, and tea-like hop flavors up front. There is a foundation of earthy bitterness. Balance is toward the bitterness. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste lingers with tea-like hop flavors persisting.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Slightly oily. No warmth, astringency, or creaminess.

Overall impression: Meh. Seems to malt forward for an American IPA. Almost like an American Amber. Pretty forgettable.

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Photo of kdmorse
2.79/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Prettiest head I've seen in a while. Two fingers of pillowy off-white bubbles that slowly recedes as carbonation races to the top. Slightly hazy auburn beer with golden highlights at the edges. Sweet bready malt that is well balanced with barely piney hops. Mustiness sneaks in and out.

Did I kill my tastebuds on hopbombs or does this not have any flavor? Tastes like a Kolsch Light that has been watered down. No flavor. Whispers of hops at the end but it is a challenge to find them. Watery and flat in my mouth. Easy as can be to drink. Would be great after a marathon to hydrate.

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Photo of eallured
2.81/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Multistage pour into unibroue tulip results in
decent head retention and moderate lace. Copper colored, white head and small chunks. Smell is musky and "fermenty." Faint earthy and overripe fruit not charactristic of hops or pale and carmael malts. Taste is equally strange with noticable bitterness and a spicy raspyness with a funky earthy grassy taste. small amounts of dark caramel malt flavor. Medium-heavy viscosity for an IPA, smooth sweetness in the aftertaste. A unique take on the style with lots of interesting flavors that I don't seem to enjoy as
uch as some may.

Edit: Although the label has markings, no notches were cut, and it was purchased from flannagans in Appleton which had many dusty bottles

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Photo of gratefuld
2.83/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber color with about a half inch head. Head faded pretty quickly....well before I had my first drink.

S: Nothing extraordinary about the smell of this one. Malty.

T: I've had this beer a lot on tap, so the taste is very familiar to me. My local watering hole has this on tap and I live in Indiana, so I usually opt for this if is not martini night. Some hops, but not too overpowering. Decent enough taste but nothing spectacular.

M: Low to Medium carbonation.

O: Overall not a terrible beer, but certainly not my favorite. It beats the Miller Lite my buddies drink at our neighborhood bar and its a local beer, but nothing really outstanding on this one. Too bad....

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Photo of Aircow86
2.83/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a rich amber color, head that quickly disappears.

Smell: Doesn't smell like an IPA...where are the hops? I can smell malt though, hops seem like an afterthought here.

Taste: Again, where are the hops? This may be the least hoppy IPA I've tasted. Flavor seemed to be trying to hard, overly sweet malt and an absence of hops.

Mouthfeel: Average, low carbonation and a little watery.

Overall: I consider myself an IPA lover, but this beer simply doesn't do justice to the potential of an IPA. IPAs should be about the hops, and this beer is definitely hop-deficient.

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Dragonfly IPA from Upland Brewing Company
3.44 out of 5 based on 727 ratings.
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