Imper Ale Nera
Birra Tenute Collesi SRL

Imper Ale NeraImper Ale Nera
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #315
Ranked #36,043
3.71 | pDev: 10.78%
Birra Tenute Collesi SRL
Imper Ale NeraImper Ale Nera
Notes: Creamy and decisive, unpasteurized and naturally bottle conditioned, Collesi Nera Craft Beer is striking with a dark ebony color. Rounded and full-bodied on the nose, it evokes the aroma of the roasting of caffè d’orzo,—a delicious Italian barley alternative to coffee— with hints of licorice, rhubarb and cocoa. Creamy and enveloping on the palate, Collesi Nera Craft Beer has a distinctive, rich and full-bodied flavor. It is also recognizable by its soft and velvety cappuccino-colored foam.

Food Pairings: With its full flavor and aromatic qualities, the Collesi Nera Craft Beer perfectly pairs with grilled red meat. Its bitter rhubarb notes complement the salty meatiness of mollusks. Inspired by the seafaring traditions that have always paired dark beers with shellfish, it’s particularly wonderful combined with oysters. A substantial beer, it’s also enjoyable at the end of a meal. Collesi Nera Craft Beer is even perfect with dark chocolate, thanks to its strength and intensity.

Style: Belgian Stout; Fermentation: Top-fermented, bottle conditioned; IBU: 20; EBC: 125; Plato scale: 19; Serving temperature: 9/10° C; Suggested serving glass: Balloon glass; Ingredients: Water from Monte Nerone, Barley Malt, Sugar, Hops and Yeast.
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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 39 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MudDrinker:
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MudDrinker from Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Near black with a quick-rising frothy off-white head. Sticks around for about 30 seconds-1 minute. Looks pretty good!

Smell: I didn't pick up what others did. The primary smell I get is peppery yeast. A very small amount of dark fruits, almost imperceptible chocolate.

Taste: Primarily dark fruit, very peppery leading into a yeasty nuttiness, with anise at the tail end warping into a metallic brightness which is a little off-putting. A very tiny amount of chocolate (unless my taste buds are ruined by drinking American Stouts all the time).

Mouthfeel: Super sticky. There was a little that went just over the lip of the glass - stopping there. When I put my lips up against that part of the glass they stuck to it.

Overall: Its not a bad beer by any means, but this'll probably be the only time I drink it. Nonetheless, its kind of neat since its relatively hard to find Italian beer imported to my neck of the woods.

Mar 07, 2013
More User Reviews:
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lacqueredmouse from Australia

3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pleasantly deep brown colour, quite dark, but certainly without the opacity to make it truly black. Head is thin, but fine bubbled; a decent beige colour. Looks pleasant, although the lack of retention in the head is a bit disappointing.

Nose has big banana esters, and a big whiff of sweet Belgian yeast character. Slight darkness to back it up, but not a whole lot. The Belgian character is very true and full, but there's not a lot otherwise. That being said, it's a pleasant nose.

Taste is rather smooth and light. The esters dominate, giving a banana character throughout, although it has a pleasant lightness on the back, that leaves the palate light. If the sweet esters continued, it would be quite cloying, but as it is, it leaves it pleasant and drinkable.

A decent beer, and a good crack at the Belgian style, but certainly missing some depth and complexity. It's a good beer, smooth and drinkable, especially for 8% ABV, but there are far better examples of the style.

Dec 25, 2010
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: After popping the cap revealed a gusher, the beer pours out a coffee brown color with ruby highlights; the head fades quickly, leaving just a few spots behind

Smell: Cocoa, dark fruit (fig, primarily), Belgian yeast and a hint of strawberry (or rhubarb as the label suggests)

Taste: Cocoa and fig, up front, with the hint of strawberry/rhubarb appearing in the middle; cocoa and coffee tones build in the middle along with some red licorice sweetness; fruity and slightly sweet in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: The label says this is a Stout but the beer has won prizes a BSDA, so what in fact is it? I would say that it is a hybrid style that is closer to a Belgian Stout than a BSDA to my palate but I am enjoying it, whatever the category

Thanks, pacent, for the opportunity

Sep 22, 2013
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rhoadsrage from Illinois

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a teku)

A- This beer pours a dense black body that is a slow gusher resulting in a 1/2 glass of foam that is creamy and tan. The head mushrooms above the glass a bit holding its form for a while. There is a wall of microbubbles racing to the surface.

S- The mild aroma of nougat and sherry notes has some dried golden raisin notes but not at all sweet. There is some rhubarb notes in the finish without the tartness.

T- The bright fruity roasted black malt note has some dark fruit and nougat flavors to follow with a soft dry finish. There is some fruit tartness that is very light but grows in the after taste.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a full scrubbing fizz but no alcohol heat noticed.

O- The bottle calls this a stout but I think it has all the great qualities of an old ale. The smooth gentle flavors has some soft roasted notes that blend with hints of tartness and fruit. I really enjoyed this beer but I'm not sure it is worth the high price tag.

Jun 26, 2012
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.17/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very dark, opaque raisin color, light carbonation, and a frothy, billowy toffee colored head which dies down fairly quick.

S - Raisins, figs, a little yeasty, chocolate, light anise, and musty dankness.

T - Raisins, dark chocolate, yeast, and anise - follows the nose. Even and balanced start to finish with a light dark chocolate bitterness at the very end. The malt is a little grainy and harsh at times.

M - Light medium body and very prickly carbonation, slightly grainy, and almost harsh at times.

O - Pricey and for what it is I'll pass next time.

Jan 18, 2013
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matjack85 from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found this sleek looking champagne style bottle at Sal's Liquors in Addison, IL. $7.99 for a 1 pint .9oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.

The beer poured a dark brown, nearly black color with a huge 4-finger tan head that comes up quickly, so be careful with the pour. Good retention and decent lacing.

Wow, lots of stuff to smell in here! I get tons of cherries and raisins, then some vanilla, chocolate, anise, and coffee, with a whiff of alcohol as well.

Surprisingly it's the bitter coffee flavor that is most dominant , with the cherries and raisins underneath. There's also a good amount of roasted malt, a touch of cocoa powder, and a good dose of warming alcohol.

Creamy, smooth, medium body with medium carbonation.

Good, but definitely a sipper. Not a beer to guzzle down or quench a thirst with. This is one to be savored.

Dec 15, 2012
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laituegonflable from Australia

3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark brown, only colour is visible around the edges up to the light. Head is beige, thin but retaining a bare crown. Lace is speckled but nice and sticky. Would like more head, more lace, but not bad.

Smells quite English actually. Noticeable grain notes with barley and that slight sour note from weaker dark ales. Hint of cola and darker spice. Some brown sugar notes and cherry are very subtle, barely noticeable. Fairly nice blend though.

Taste is alright at first, but finish is oddly sour, almost distastefully. Has nice roastiness on front that then gets a bit musty. A touch of coconut flesh with some fig and peach notes that don't quite have big fruitiness but more a weak roastiness giving oddly sour notes reminiscent of fruit. Touch of wood on the back, with a slight maraschino cherry note as well, and a slight aspirin character (possibly my least favourite flavour in beer). Touch of bubblegum as well (hold the phone, I think we have a tie here), all of which makes me a bit lukewarm towards this. It's a bit mish-mashed and not quite good, either for a dark beer or for a pretending-to-be-dark beer.

Too much sizzle on the mouthfeel. Good body at first, quite full-textured, but developed a brashness on the mid-to-back.

Not overall bad; there are aspects here that I like and that I don't like. Not too intense that I can't drink, but flavours are not wonderful so I don't love it.

Jan 14, 2011
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MICAMD from Maryland

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a slightly hazy, very dark brown liquid, bordering on black. The creamy light brown head settles to a thin covering that has some nice retention.

S- Cocoa, anise, and coffee. The roasty character is very nice and finishes clean.

T- Sweet coffee, cocoa, and anise. A bit different, but tasty. There is a bit of noticeable alcohol and nuttiness.

M- Creamy body with abundant carbonation. There is some lasting sweetness and roastiness.

O- A tasty beer but not something I would go out of my way for. The alcohol is well hidden.

Aug 29, 2011
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eric5bellies from Australia

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Westmalle chalice.

A - Pours a dark Brown mahogany colour with a nice off white tanned head that fades real quick

S - Plenty of stewed sweet fruits and malts

T - Nice Belgian qualities of stewed dark fruits. The yeast strains are spot on for this brew and you would think that it was brewed in Belgium. Nice soft boozyness as well

M - Medium body and carbonation

O - This beer is Authentically Belgian. If you didn't know that it was brewed in Italy then you would no know, that is very rare for any beer brewed in the belgian style. Only a little sickly sweetness lets it down.

Sep 03, 2011
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pin from Australia

4/5  rDev +7.8%

Apr 06, 2012
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coldmeat23 from Oklahoma

4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
(I don't know how this beer got entered as "Imper Ale Main Nera". I don't see the word 'Main' on the bottle ANYWHERE. Not sure where that came from. Anyway....mine looks just like the one in the picture, we go.)

This one is a very dark golden brown color. The brown head of beautifully creamy foam is over a finger-width tall. The retention is very good and the lacing is abundant with strands and 'thick' dots, which are very sticky.
So far, this is quite impressive. (It loses half-a-point though, because the on-bottle description refers to it as a stout. The color is way light, for a stout.)

There are lots of dark fruit notes here, which is in line with the BSDA categorization. Also, some nice hints of vanilla and light traces of anise. Light, yeasty, spice notes and some delicious banana scents. Light hints of roasted malts and mild coffee presence. There is a certain 'meaty' quality, which can not be denied.
It's smelling like a Belgian Stout, really. (Then again...I'm not really sure what an 'Unpasteurized Stout' is supposed to be. All I know is that it smells good to me!)

This has a very mild flavor profile...not necessarily a bad thing, either. It has a very light hint of cherries and almost opens up into orchard fruits. Bananas and spice notes from the belgian yeast are nicely handled. A light hint of candi sugar sweetness balances out some hints of roasted malts and dark coffee.

This just barely eeks into 'full-bodied' territory. It has a medium level of carbonation, which has many small, active, bubbles. It is very smooth and has a slight hint of creaminess to it, which is very nice.

This is actually a surprisingly good beer, to me. It's much better than I anticipated it was going to be. It's very smooth and easy-to-drink, mildly creamy, and the 8.0%abv is nowhere to be found, in the taste.
A BSDA session beer...from Italy? Yeah, that's what I'VE got here. How about you?

Dec 24, 2011
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Collesi Nera has a medium, cream colored head (which fizzes right away, no lacing, and a murky, deep brown appearance, with some bubbles streams a lots of tiny tan specs suspended throughout. The aroma is of rich, sweet, turned fruit, barley malt, candi sugar, and vegetable matter. Taste is of sweet, somewhat chocolatey malt, a touch of licorice, vegetable matter, bread yeast, and a number of rather strange, unidentifiable things. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy and slick, and Collesi Nera finishes semi-dry, easy drinking, and unusual. One detects the alcohol warmth in the chest and head, but not in the flavor. Overall, this is flavorful and interesting.


Oct 22, 2013
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zoso1967 from Michigan

3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It’s 12:23 am on a rainy Friday night. My wife is at work and all my friends in town are busy or sleeping. I have just completed a task on my honey-do list and decided to reward myself with “Imper Ale Main Nera,” my first ever Italian beer.

The packaging is simple and elegant with a heat shrink black plastic sleeve over the cap. I cut the plastic as best I can with a pair of scissors and attempt to pop of the cap. It seems to be resisting my attempts. I try a bit harder and while I am bending the cap, I still have not heard any hiss of escaping CO2. Suddenly a shotgun bang rings out and I feel the brush of air as the cap flies past my face before bouncing off the ceiling, knocking a rolled up newspaper off the shelf and coming to rest on the center of the floor.

The dog barks twice and all is silent. I am ready with a glass, thinking it’s a gusher, but all seems normal on the beer front. I can only guess it was the result of their odd cap which has a plastic insert that goes down into the mouth of the bottle. You may want to wear eye protection before opening one of these brews.

The beer itself pours a dark and muddy brown color. I am not seeing much light penetrate the liquid when I hold it up to the light, but it is not quite opaque. The head is a lovely medium tan and has a nice smooth look to it. Retention is pretty nuts, but the lacing is only average.

The aroma is extremely fruity. Inhaling the aromas makes my brain think more of Belgium than Italy, with plenty of orchard fruit character and some spicy yeast esters. Swirling does not yield any more aromas, only some alcoholic heat.

The flavor is more intriguing in that it is sort of like a blend between a Belgian ale and a stout. It is pleasantly fruity up front with some pear, cherry and raisin, but transitions to a slightly roasty and bitter cocoa finish. There is definitely a bit of spice present from the yeast, as well as a bit of chalkiness. It also has a slight sourness to it. While not packed with flavor, it is a very tasty beer.

The mouthfeel is pretty wonderful. It has a lightish medium body with plenty of carbonation, but the bubbles feel fine. The texture is smooth and yet bustling with activity. The finish is nice and fruity with a bit of sourness blended in.

Despite this bottle scaring the crap out of me and possibly taking out an eye, I really enjoyed this beer. It was not quite as in your face as a lot of American or Belgian brews, but it had very nice flavors that worked well together. I will surely try another one of Collesi’s beers in the future.

Apr 23, 2011
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thecheapies from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Probably a best before date that I'm reading on here. It's stamped 30 03 13. Have to say this is probably still tasty.

Sleek-looking champagne style bottle with a bottle cap under black plastic. Into the snifter goes a mucky dark brown liquid with a small light brown head. Carbonation really wants to restack upon itself when you shake the glass. All you really get, when it's all said and done with, is a ring of foam.

Dark fruity and nutty aromas permeate from the opening of the glass with a Belgian yeast mustiness. Earthy and a little hairy with booze and light funk. Smells like a cellar full of leaky bottles of stouts and quads. The smell of delicate age comes through with a 'patterned-after-a-quad' Belgian maltiness. Candi sugars dry up almost everything else and leave their flavor behind; along with notes of raisin, prune, date, sherry, and toffee. Along with the obvious Belgian ale notes, I get a little bit of English-style old ale caramelization and a decent amount of roast. I suppose it makes sense, being that Italy is geographically between the two nations aforementioned. Nice complexity here.

Rich plummy flavor with a smooth malty roast and fusel chime. Notes of candi sugar, fig, toffee, and raisin are all here, but succumb to the plum/prune. Alcohol level is appropriate; it's a sipper, but the strength doesn't seem to be that big. It has a light tartness, perhaps I am picking up the rhubarb that the label description lists as a tasting note. Regarding those tasting notes, I get hints of cocoa and maybe a smidge of coffee. But, it's the dark fruits that I really taste. Pretty good, actually.

Criminally thin for the style. Carbonation turned out to be a dud, also. It's really hard to disparage between different flavors when I'm not getting any activity on the tongue. Surprisingly, again, the booze is not really opened-up. I do admit there is an exquisite smoothness to the drink. Attention to some details, duly noted.

This is bordering on quad territory. It's not much like any of the Belgian stouts I've tasted in the past. I suppose BSDA is an appropriate classification. I'd recommend trying this if you can find it on the half-cheap. Paying $14 for this 50 cL Jennie proves to be way too damn much.

Jul 01, 2013
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Rifugium from North Dakota

3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Feb 14, 2015
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jrohrbacher from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +7.8%

Apr 27, 2014
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Finishing my mini-run through the Collesi bottles I could find nearby. This one pours a midnight garnet-sienna topped by a finger of light khaki foam. The nose comprises toasted malts, light dark fruits, mild biscuit (not plain, but rather with a bit of butter), light clove, a hint of booze, and the slightest possible swath of wet cardboard. The taste holds notes of mild roasted malts, mild dark fruits, brown sugar, light cocoa, clove, light banana, and a hint of coffee. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a wet feel. Overall, it's a bit thin and doesn't have the greatest aroma around, but in terms of flavor this is a better Belgian-style stout than most out there (I'm thinking Allagash Black in particular at the moment, as I just recently tasted that one). Not bad.

May 10, 2013
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dbossman from Nebraska

3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a reddish tint; a steady, one inch head and okay lacing

S: Some sour, wet, musty grains; some roasted malts but a bit subdued and underwhelming; some dark fruits and fruitiness from the Belgian yeast

T: Some dark fruits and roasted malts: figs, raisins, and plums mingle; something a bit musty and stale here too

F: Quite thin with a slightly odd carbonation

O: This is an okay dark Belgian but nothing that wows here and frankly just a bit thin and slightly off tasting

Jan 19, 2012
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Fatehunter from Oregon

3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a finger and half of tan head on a dark brown body.
The aroma is caramel and brown sugar. Nice.
The taste is mild sweetness throughout, licorice and milk chocolate.
The texture is soft with a little fizz.
Quite enjoyable.

Jun 02, 2015
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remitrom from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Aug 07, 2013
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aasher from Indiana

3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

May 24, 2012
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a77cj7 from South Dakota

4/5  rDev +7.8%

Nov 20, 2014
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acurtis from New Jersey

2.81/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Sep 22, 2016
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hopsolutely from Canada (ON)

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Feb 01, 2014
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DruC4 from Michigan

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Jul 18, 2013
Imper Ale Nera from Birra Tenute Collesi SRL
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 39 ratings