Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Dragonfly IPA | Upland Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
212 Reviews
Read the review
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 212 | Ratings: 720
Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - This is a good looking brew. It came to the table with a nice, 1/4" head, almost white, which gave way to solid lacing. The beer is a golden color, perhaps a touch more pale than the typical IPA I drink.

S - Nothing really stood out for me here. Some fruit notes, along with general hoppiness in the form of grass, floral hits and pine, but very light overall. Really a bit too quiet for my taste.

T - It starts as a very nice, balanced brew, with some subtle notes of lemon and grapefruit that combine with sweeter hints of caramel underneath. As the full flavor comes in, the hints of fruit give way to a fairly blunt bitter blast and a certain minerality, but the close steps back, returning with floral notes. But bitterness remains strong through the close.

M - Fairly high carbonation. I did not find the drying to be too severe, but I think the fatty meal I was eating at the time probably helped here.

O - I thought this was a decent, but not overwhelming IPA entry. Strangely, though this beer is not afraid to jump into hoppy bitterness, the other hop notes seem more muted. Still, I found this drinkable, and I'd get it on tap again.

 1,152 characters

Photo of superspak
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

 1,311 characters

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.

 2,257 characters

Photo of Fcolle2
3.56/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours sligtly hazy light amber in color with a one and a half finger frothy white head that has good retention.

Smell is hop forward, mainly earthy and piney hops. Malt smells light and grainy near the back end.

Taste is alright. Lots of earthy hop bitterness dominates the front and back end somewhat overpowering the light grainy flavors. Slightly metallic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. Lots of hoppy resin and oil give this a good stock body over the light to medium malt body. Lots of carbonation cuts through the bitterness and hoppy stickiness.

 554 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

 599 characters

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.

 267 characters

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.

 248 characters

Photo of mverity
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale yellow with a touch of amber. Little head with almost no lacing. Aroma is faintly hoppy, think earthy-piney and a faint caramel sweetness. Taste is pretty much the exact same. Medium body with high carbonation. Decent IPA but I wouldn't track this one down.

 268 characters

Photo of confabulatedgod
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

I don't want to dog on this beer too much because I didn't think the beer drink itself was bad. However the extremely bitter finish and aftertaste made it a beer that I didn't see myself sipping and enjoying regularly. I'm sure I'll try it again. I'm sure that won't be soon.

 275 characters

Photo of brewtaster
3.98/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very solid brew. I consider this one of my "go to" IPA's Not being a native Hoosier I am not biasing my opinion. I just think this is a staple IPA, nothing elaborate but on par for the style it claims. I would agree with some of the other reviews in that this reflects more of an English IPA than that of an "overhopped American IPA" which I love as well when the tastebuds dictate.

 384 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appears a slightly hazed copper amber hue with a bright off white light khaki head forms thick, with fine bubbles. Aroma big earthy slightly pine and citric based hops, it's almost tart with some herbal hop nose action going on. More pronounced with hop bitterness than hop flavor it's an interesting barrage of hop pellets on the palate, acidic cat pee, citrus zest, and earthiness. Cloying hop bitterness lacks the complimentary malt balance which really makes most IPAs drink so well, this is like some of those early homebrew versions of an IPA that many of us had trying to pack too many hop pellets into the boil without making it blend comfortably with the malt profile. Multiple sips later it reveals the same problems, definitely didn't want to run from it first time I've seen the Dragonfly IPA in Steubenville Ohio. However it doesn't measure up to some of the best standards this style has out there at similar or equal pricing, a cloying bitterness crushes hard between each sip. Carbonation is just a hair too much for me adding to the harshness with each sip medium bodied slightly resinous hop oils sit on the palate. Overall, I think I have hashed and rehashed the reasons why I'm not a fan, beer mail me with further questions.

 1,245 characters

Photo of davecavemaster
3.16/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours a very nice orange/amber color. I poured it in a Pilsner glass and got about an inch of dirty white foam. The head sticks around, and settles into a nice ring with some lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma of this brew is strong on the grapefruity citrus, as you would expect with an IPA. Although I was surprised that I didn't get a little bit of a malty smell, as the label touts this beer to be a "well balanced, malty beer."

Upon tasting, I did get the malty flavor right off the bat, with the bitter hop taste coming towards the end. Also, you get a bit of a malty aftertaste as well. In all honesty, I didn't really like the aftertaste very much...

The beer feels somewhat watery while drinking, and I usually like a beer better when it has a bit more of a "thicker" feel to it. The carbonation is a little thin, but nowhere near flat.

Overall, this is a decent IPA. Above the average you would find on the shelf from many breweries, but nowhere near elite status. A nice job for a brewery in Indiana.

 1,033 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.29/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

According to the notch on the label, this was bottled ON September 2013. I don't know when exactly during last month, nor why a professional brewing operation would allow such a glaring grammatical error to persist, but I'm heading in regardless. This stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by over a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises slightly old caramel (think Werther's Originals that have been hanging around your grandma's friend's apartment for way the hell too long), mixed greens, and a twinkle of sweet flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, but, much like Upland's Harvest Ale, some orange peel sneaks in and drowns most else out for most of the time. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a decent enough IPA, nothing at all to write home about, but at least it's nothing offensive. I will likely go elsewhere, though, for my IPA needs.

 969 characters

Photo of Wavymitch
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A. Pours a dark orange. Half inch head on this one with some lacing. Some carbonation.

S. Citrus right off the bat and if you smell a little deeper you'll get a hint of Carmel

T. Light hoppy flavor, kind of disappointing. Has a bit of a hop finish though. A lot of malt carmel flavors.

M. Very drinkable. Moderate here, id say.

O. I liked it. Very drinkable a great beer to drink when hanging with some friends. Plus it's a local brew hard to compete with the three Floyd's. lol Go Indiana!

 497 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
3.06/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Since I'm in Indiana, it felt just right to grab some offerings from local breweries. This was one of them - poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Freshness date is listed as "June/13." No ABV on the bottle, but I'm glad it's seemingly low.

Pours a golden amber color that looks like every IPA I've come across ever. Okay, annoyances with descriptions here aside, there's a good amount of white foamy head that lingers about, and though it eventually settles into a ring, it's pleasing to the eye and there's enough carbonation to enhance the beer at hand.

Smells very soapy and with slight acetone notes, only notable with the dried yet faded earthy citrus notes at hand. The acetone does go away, but the earthy notes are underwhelming at best, resembling faded orange, lemon, and grapefruit. A sharp malty sweetness resembling honey or butterscotch comes into play at the finish.

The flavor is that of more faded earthy citrus notes, awash with orange peel and light lemon, and then more of the butterscotch sweetness from the malts. Luckily, this never gets overwhelming sweet as the hop characteristics at hand show a well stated bitterness that holds the fort together. Creamy and easy to drink. Well carbonated. Only the sweetness and dried astringency made this a bit of a chore to drink - took me over an hour at best to finish the bottle.

Not bad, but nothing necessarily memorable here. A very middle-of-the-road IPA that somehow comes off nevertheless as a bit too sweet and bitter in the long run. It's an odd one, at that, but it doesn't really know what it wants to be. Paired well with a meal involving honey glazed ham and cornbread. Otherwise, won't be having it any time soon.

 1,709 characters

3.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have not had this beer in several years. I thought I would revisit it with a proper review.

My pour achieves only an inch of very light tan head. Really no lace to speak of and retention turns to just a skim in about a minute. Body is a rich amber gold as is standard in the style.

Nose is subtle but nice, with tones of earthy hop notes. Slightly sweet as the malt plays well to balance.

The first thing you notice in the flavor of this brew is the way the bitter hits your tongue. It is nicely dry on the mouthfeel and a bit hollow in character. Malt adds a element of sweetness to the body of the beer. This is a very nice IPA not bad at all, just not special compared to many of todays easy to find spectacular entries in this category.

Overall this is a very drinkable IPA that is not a hop bomb but very balanced brew.

 833 characters

Photo of MacQ32
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a golden color with a finger of near white head, poor retention and lacing

S - Slightly airy, pears, hops, and citrus flavors. Tame but nice

T - Dry bitterness initially, slightly airy with sweet pears and citrus follow. slightly malty bitter lingering effect.

M - Lightish bodied with decent decent carbonation, quite drinkable

O - Decent ipa, nothing too special but I'd drink regularly on hot days at the right price point though. Easy to drink

 461 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is amber with golden highlights with relatively large chunks of yeast floating in it. Three inches of tan head sit atop.

S - I get lots of caramel malt and faded hops.

T - It has a lot of caramel malt flavor. There are virtually no hops. I get a little on the finish. This tastes more like a pale or amber ale than an IPA.

M - Moderate to medium

O - I have been wanting to try some Upland beers. I have been utterly unimpressed by the year round selection. I guess I have to try the lambics to save their reputation in my eyes.

 590 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.84/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Type: on tap pitcher
Glass: pitcher to pint
From: upland in Bloomington
Price: $9

Appearance: light yellowy orange. slightly hazy and a decent size head that fades slowly

Smell: citrus and piney hops

Taste: citrus and pine hops and a grainy taste. some weaker caramel malts

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. some upfront bitterness that dies quickly. kinda weird aftertaste

Overall: a decent ipa. but nothing spectacular

 417 characters

Photo of russpowell
2.97/5  rDev -13.7%
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

 640 characters

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.

 863 characters

Photo of barczar
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper color, clear, with solid one inch khaki head that leaves spotty lacing.

Perfumey hops open the aroma, floral, then they're overtaken by a backdrop of citrus. Grapefruit and lime easily overpower a light bready caramel malt backbone.

Flavor has far less hop character. Toasted breadcrust is too powerful to let the hops shine. There's a bit of staleness throughout, likely attributable to lesser quality hops. Lime and general citrus notes underlie the profile, finishing somewhat bitter and dry. Pine and grass become evident later.

Body is a touch watery, with fairly high carbonation and slight astringency at the finish.

Overall, lacking in quality hop character, and the malt that comes through isn't very flavorful. Body is a touch offputting, as well.

 781 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last time I had this I wasn’t too much of a hops fan; needless to say, it wasn’t my style. Now that that’s changed, let’s see how this one tastes…

Brewed two months before the date of this tasting (September ’12 notched on the label).

A: Foamy white head over a deep golden-orange body. The foam lowers to a silky cream retention, showing hardly any lacing.

S: Nice rounded vanilla malt backbone with a layering of citrusy hops on top. The strength has probably diminished over the past months on the shelf, but it’s certainly not bland. Peaches and cream, kiwi, and mango stand out over standard caramel and toffee, again with a vanilla warmth, making this seem sweet over tart.

T: There’s those malts first, silky sweet – taste a lot like a caramel or butterscotch candy, in fact, and it’s reminding of an English IPA. Big toffee and cake batter tastes, as well, before the palate shifts to some thick hops. Tastes of crisp pine needles, tart lemon juice, canned pineapple, and sweet dried cherries from the bitters, which blend with a complex, satisfying power. Toast and sweet cream on the aftertaste, mildly bready and dry.

M: Chewy with the malts, drying with the hops. Either this is just what I needed, or these guys just did it right.

O: If it’s done right, I’ll take an English IPA over an American IPA in many cases. Mainly, it’s the malt flavor that I enjoy; not the overly sweet DIPA intensity, but the sweet flavor of full, chewy grains. This one has is, and a nice hop intensity to match – not overpower – making it an easy drinker and, most likely, a beer I’ll be buying in the future.

 1,639 characters

Photo of AmitC
3.59/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nothing much to write about except for its smells and taste. Not a lot of hops.

In the glass, pours with a little head. A lot of bubbles, not a good thing and i would like to assume a good amount of carbonation. just a tad hazy otherwise very clear, amber brown color. There were some suspended white particles, may be yeast colonies. May be my bottle was a little old. I don't know.

Smell is very earthy, a little piney, floral and hoppy. Overall a good smell to have while drinking.

Taste Not very hoppy. decent complexity. pines, hops, earthy grassy notes. could have used a bit more bitterness. Not that it is at all sweet.

Mouthfeel. Pretty average. Oily resin like. Typical IPA feel but nothing too exciting.

Overall a decent effort. Nothing that i would buy again if i have better options.

 803 characters

Photo of phiberoptik
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 8/12 - Pours a burnt copper/ sunshine with a soapy head that finishes with a white rim. Just a swirl and the head is back. Quality lacing.

Pine hop oil, lemon grass, slightly dank, sweet malts, whiffs of bread.

Taste is a bit lighter than the aroma. Hints of tropical fruit, grass, caramel malt, and a balanced bitter finish.

Lighter bodied, slightly thin. Great carbonation level.

Upland makes Lambics that people fight over, but this to me was just a middle of the road pale ale labeled as an IPA. Its not off putting or anything bad, just not as good as I was expecting.

 585 characters

Dragonfly IPA from Upland Brewing Company
3.44 out of 5 based on 720 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!