Dragonfly IPA | Upland Brewing Company

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Dragonfly IPADragonfly IPA
745 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: 745 |  Reviews: 217
Photo of Sammy
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kylehay2004
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spycow
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Knapp85
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh a fresh bottle this beer is much better.

This poured out as a decent golden color with a white head on top. The retention and lacing were both unimpressive. The smell of the beer is malty, not much of a hop aroma at all on this beer. The taste of the beer is very malt forward with a very subtle bitterness in the finish but not nearly enough to make this a solid American IPA. The mouthfeel of the beer is pretty good, nicely carbonated and had a decent body to it as well. Overall not really an American IPA but more of an old English one with the earthy hops and malts that this beer has.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed a few glasses of this beer at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Downtown Indianapolis. Sadly, this is the only local beer available at the premier resturaunt.

The beer opens with a rich, fruity aroma of caramelly malts and yeasty esters. Comming off really sweet with an herbal note of floral and piney hops, albeit light. Inviting but not as intense as most IPAs to the nose.

Flavors definately favor the malts, giving a rich, bready-toasty-biscuity flavor and a follow up of caramel and toffee. Over-rippened fruits of peaches, apples, and appricots give a complex sweetness from the yeast. The hop flavor comes in very late and offers a bit of pine and flowery character (rose). Again, nice but not an IPA.

Textures are rich, creamy, and sweet proving to be less attenuated than needed. The lack of malt crispness, the timid hop character does little to dry the beer or to offset the malty sweetness.

A farily good beer, but not the advertised IPA that is expected. The sweet malts and fruity esters make me thing English Bitter or ESB, but the hop character doesn't settle with me in scale or varity. There are several things amiss here.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.95/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is notched October 2007.

Sticky, fluffy head of foam that forms a craggy peak above the lip of a tulip glass. Dirty reddish amber tone with suspended flecks of yeast sediment. Lacing is left on the sides of the glass. It has an unfiltered and robust appearance.

Sweet and grassy aroma, with belgian candi sugar similar to a Tripel. Spring-like and fresh, hop florals, but more subdued in place of the amped-up pine & citrus of American IPA's.

First taste impression is that it's very much like an English IPA rather than American. Tea-like, some residual herbal hop bitterness towards the end, and into the finish. Light apple note from the yeast. Pale malt or wheat make up most of the middle. Dry and herbal hops, maybe a low alpha-acid English variety like Fuggles or Kent Goldings. Medium bodied with fairly low carbonation. This reminds me further of English styles, with the resemblance to cask ale.

Highly drinkable, especially in warmer weather. Hell, it's January, and two went down easily. Underrated, and seemingly misunderstood...compare this to something traditional from the UK like Fuller's IPA and see what you think.

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Photo of brentk56
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Arrives with an amber color and a nice head with good retention

Smell: Malt forward caramel with pith and pine

Taste: Caramel, up front, with a developing pithy bitterness; after the swallow, more caramel returns but the finish is filled with pith and pine

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A malt forward IPA that has a nice dose of balancing hops

Thanks, jonallan, for the growler in 2013 that gave me a chance to re-visit - much better than in my first encounter

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Photo of zeff80
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a small, white head of thin foam. Not much lacing left behind.

S - It smelled of citrus - touches of orange and grapefruit. There was a light aroma of caramel.

T - It had a sweet citrusy flavor from the hops. Also, a touch of spicy hops. Some caramel malt for a nice base.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a snappy dry finish. A light to medium bodied beer.

D - This is a nice tasting IPA. It is certainly worth a try.

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Photo of superspak
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled in 8/2013. Pours a very hazy/murky golden orange color with a 2 finger dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, floral, grass, light pine, and herbal earthiness. Unimpressive and malt forward aromas with light-moderate hop presence; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, pine, caramel, toast, floral, grass, and floral/toasted earthiness. Good amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, pine, caramel, toast, biscuit, floral, grass, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish. Pretty nice flavor balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; with a solid and crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a mediocre IPA. Aromas were way too malt forward with weak hops; but the flavors were a bit more balanced and crisp. I had no problem finishing off the glass.

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Photo of mothman
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours a little over a finger of beige head. Decent retention with a lot of lace left. Is an orange hued copper. Lots of sediment in the glass.

Aroma: A low amount of hops. Very bland for an ipa. Some bready malts. Light citrus. Not something I am enjoying.

Taste: Very malty and bready. The hops are there with some floral presence, but I get a bland flavor again. Nothing seems to flow with this beer. Sweetly bittering. Light citrus flavors, but at this point it really doesn't matter. Grassy/weedy hops seem to be what I really dislike here.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and creamy. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. End dry and with grassy/ditch weed flavored hops.

Overall, not a big fan of this ipa. Nothing seems to flow with this beer and it just isn't what I am looking for in an ipa. I really do not recommend this one.

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Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear golden amber in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the surface of the beer and faint golden yellow colored highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy white head that quickly reduces to a few small patches of thin film surrounded by a large patch of very thin film covering the remainder if the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Slightly heavier than moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are slightly heavier than moderate aromas of biscuit + caramel malts with a light to moderate amount of sweetness. Moderate aromas of floral + grassy hops.

T: Upfront there are slightly stronger than moderate flavors of biscuit + caramel malts with a light to moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of floral + grassy hops which impart a slightly heavier than light amount of bitterness which fades away slowly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: A more malty IPA, probably closer to an English one than an American one but definitely an enjoyable one. Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from raznug, courtesy of the Under 100 III 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 amber brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains floral hops, caramelized malts and a touch of citrus.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty malt character up front. The a decent hops presence comes in along with some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. It's a pretty well-balanced but overall the taste is a little bland. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it's not a bad beer but there are several other IPA's that I would choose first.

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Photo of vfgccp
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a slightly-darkened golden color with a slight white head and not much of any lacing. The nose brings some light grapefruit and citrus hops along with a pretty hefty dose of sweetness. The taste is mild citrus bitterness with some nearly cloying sweetness in the background. Feel seems overly thick because of the sweetness. Some bitterness to save it, but this is just all too sweet. I will say it is better on tap than in the bottle; this is true for nearly all of their beers.

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Photo of PhineasMcClintock
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of Kegatron
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of creamy eggshell-white head. This retains a very nice looking richness to it that leaves a big frothy cascade of lacing down the sides of the glass. Good overall look here. The aroma is fairly bitter in the nose with spice and grapefruit, which are balanced by some softer smelling notes of sweet citrus and toasted grain. This is all wrapped up in a gentle floral feel that helps keep things airy.

The taste has a moderate bite to it of spice, earth, bitter fruit, and to a lesser extent, pine resins. This is decently balanced by some sweet fruity character and some flat grainy maltiness. Spice, resins, and earth all linger past the finish here but they aren't coming off as overly harsh by any means. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a mellow, slick, and creamy feel to it that lets this flow rather easily in the mouth. I'm not picking up any alcohol here which helps add to the overall feel here.

This was a decent little IPA selection here. Not a hop-bomb or anything but the moderate amount of bitterness that was present was well balanced and this maintained a smooth and easy body that kept the drinkibility good. A couple of fresh bottles of this wouldn't go down too badly at all on a hot day.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of smcolw
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy dark amber color. Small head that settles to rim. Little lace.

Spicy black pepper aroma.

Biting hop bitterness with a very long aftertaste. Decent body with a light carbonation level. Overall, a rather two dimensional beer. Good flavor but not overly interesting.

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Photo of russpowell
2.97/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Picked this up near FT. Knox KY, alas there were no sours on the shelf. Bottled on Oct 2012

Pours golden/honey colored with a thumb of beige colored head. Above average lacing, average head retention

S: Slight grassyness & herbal notes

T: Grassyness, lemon rinds, & bitter orange & some pear fruittyness up front. Grapefruit, grassyness & faint breadyness as this warms, plus some leafy hops. Finishes with herbal & leafy bitterenss, plus a touch of orchard fruit

MF: Light bodied, subtle carbonation, alright balance

Seems more like an English IPA, not impressed, drinks easy enough. Kind of a underwhleming first beer from these guys

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Photo of jgunther71
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly-darkened golden color with a slight white head and not much of any lacing. The nose brings some light grapefruit and citrus hops along with a pretty hefty dose of sweetness. The taste is mild citrus bitterness with some nearly cloying sweetness in the background. Feel seems overly thick because of the sweetness. Some bitterness to save it, but this is just all too sweet. I will say it is better on tap than in the bottle; this is true for nearly all of their beers.

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Dragonfly IPA from Upland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 745 ratings