This beer poured into the glass with a dark amber color and a decent-looking head that disappeared to nothing pretty quickly. There's not a ton of smell to it; it smells pretty much like an ordinary lager. The taste, however, is different from the regular Sam Adams Lager in a very pleasing way. It's very full-bodied, like the regular lager, but it has an almost buttery sweetness that you taste right away. That sounds odd, but it really works well with this beer. There's a slight hoppy bitterness and maybe some spice at the end, but the semi-sweet malt is the main characteristic here. That's a little strange for a winter lager - usually they have a lot more spice to them. The beer is so well crafted, though, that I really don't miss that flavor. Overall, I'd say this beer is an excellent variation on the base Sam Adams Lager. If you're a fan of regular Sam Adams and of slightly sweeter beers, this is a must-buy.