Gumballhead - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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1,460 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,460
Hads: 5,260
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.75%
Wants: 910
Gots: 956 | FT: 35
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cretemixer on 04-17-2003

An American wheat beer with a refreshing, crisp citrus finish. This delicious session beer is brewed with boatloads of Amarillo hops.

35 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,460 | Hads: 5,260
Photo of Iratolla
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

This American Wheat is a fantastic summer beer, refreshing and easy to drink. The nose on this beer is amazing as are most Three Floyds beers...the Amarillo hops shine through both in the aroma and taste. This beer pours golden and slightly cloudy with a light fluffy white head. I don't review beers that suck and I won't start now, outstanding AW that is worth a try if you can get your hands on some. (406 characters)

Photo of beenitty
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Recieved as extras from whitemomba, thanks Jason

Reviewed from notes from May, had this after notes as well.

A. Pours golden yellow, with good lacing and sizable off white head.

S. Fruit, hops, bit of bubble gum but not as BIG as I expected with the name.

T. Bit of wheat, hops, fruit on the end. Odd accumulation of bubble gum flavor when you've been chewing the same piece for too long.

D: Super high. I could down alot of these guys.

M. very nice, still getting that old bubblegum character here. Nice overall though, good carbonation, crisp and smooth.

Had several bottles of this and was definitely let down a bit. Would love to try it on draft to see if it can live up to the hype. (694 characters)

Photo of bditty187
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Faintly hazy or am I being susceptible since I read the label? The liquid *is* rather clear. Tawny-gold in hue; it is a lovely color. White foam, at the apex the head was two fingers tall. Head retention wasn’t very impressive as after only a moment or two all that remained was a thin, soapy cap. I’d expect a wheat beer to have better head retention. The subsequent lacing was so infrequent it is really pointless to note it. Overall, the appearance is fair teetering on average.

The nose is very hoppy. The first time I smelled this beer I thought it was sinfully one-dimensional, all I could smell was dank weed. It got boring quickly. This go-around, under better conditions, I still smell some bud but the undercurrents of citrus and pine/flowers really round out the hoppy aromas nicely. I don’t detect any maltiness nor are there any signs this is a wheat beer. This disappoints me greatly. What is the point of touting this as some hoppy-ass American Wheat Ale if I can’t smell the wheat? If I want a hoppy beer from 3F why not just get some Alpha King? The hophead in me is happy, it is very inviting and I can’t wait to take a sip. The side of me that likes wheat beers is sad. The part of me that likes complexity and depth in the nose is worried the palate will get boring. Needless to say I am conflicted about the bouquet.

Again, the first time I had this beer I couldn’t detect even a hint of wheat. I was so bummed. All I could taste was marijuana and a kiss of pine. Boring. I was ready to right this beer off. I couldn’t wait to rip this beer once I opened another bomber to review it. Well, the palate does show the slightest bit of wheat at the end, near the swallow. This does save the day but 90% of the flavor profile is hops and nothing but hops. I love hops but what is the point of brewing a hoppy wheat beer and completely hide the wheat? It almost seems this is some kind of overzealous backhanded smack against all the insipid American Wheats on the market. The hop profile consists of bud, citrus, pine, and a splash of flowers. I get a hint of orange peel too. It is vaguely fruity at the finish. That is about all this beer has to offer. It is a hop bomb… a not very bitter hop bomb. Wow. That’s it? I am totally lost as to why this beer is so esteemed.

Medium in body, soft prickly carbonation, the mouthfeel is quite pleasant really.

I like the fact this beer is so flavorful (but not complex) and low in alcohol. This is a true session beer aside from the fact it is almost $7 a bomber. I like this beer on face value. I think this beer is very lame once I deconstruct it. I can’t help but think what is the point? If I want an American Wheat beer I want, well, wheatiness to be prevalent. Likewise, if I want a hoppy beer I know where to look (APA, IPA, etc…) plus it’s not very bitter. So, Gumballhead is a wheatless American Wheat with tons of hops? Why? See, now I am just ranting and going of the point. This is a very drinkable beer. Enough said. I am happy I finally tried it. I purchased by bombers in Council Bluffs, IA. (3,093 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale cloudy yellow color with a white head. Aromas that are citrusy and hoppy. In the taste, a dry wheaty taste and also, it is hoppy smooth. A smooth, dry mouthfeel and a dry hoppy aftertaste. A different wheat, with big hops. I enjoy the smooth dryness and again, anything with a nice hop presence is always good. (323 characters)

Photo of hoagzzz
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Got four of these in a trade with Remobsu. My first BA trade. Was totally psyched to try this brew, but ultimately was disappointed. Nose was less than I expected, but dug the cloudy golden yellow pour. First sip tasted quite odd. Was it the Amarillo hops? Second sip more of the same.. Really hard to describe but the taste was not familiar. Not horrible, but did not live up to the hype for me. (396 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a three floyds glass.

A - Golden amber body with a 3 finger soapy head with large bubbles. Lots of floating bits of yeast and sediment.

S - Really hop dominant. Grapefruit with a wheaty and spicy finish.

T - Bread, grapefruit, belgian yeast, spice, and some hop bitterness. Kind of muted and watery. Mouth feel is pretty fitting for the style.

O - An odd little beer. Hoppy and wheat heavy, spicy with a bit of fruit sweetness. Its a bit tame but I could see myself throwing back a lot of these. (519 characters)

Photo of MadCat
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pale yellow color, white head, leaves lacing

Smell: Wheat, nice hops, very citrusy

Taste: Refreshing wheat flavors, nice hops, grapefruit, lemon, orange, some bread

Mouthfeel: Light body, good carbonation

Overall: A good, but not outstanding beer. Probably the best of its style, but again, doesn't really stand out too much (340 characters)

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from GbvDave- thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy straw color with a one inch white head. I had heard that FFF has a reputation for over-hopping all of their beers, and this one was no exception. A citrusy hoppy aroma was pleasantly apparent. Not too hoppy in the taste, but refreshing nonetheless. A slightly lemon like finish, which is helped by the relatively high carbonation. A sure winner in the hotter months for sure- very drinkable. (444 characters)

Photo of W9820
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-This beer is bright beautiful gold, clear and has a great head.
S-I can pick up spicy hops immediately.
T-The taste starts of biscuity but spicy hops come in immediately and it ends with the hops
M-Gumball Head has perfect body
O-great beer...the hops really seem to dominate the beer at the end (299 characters)

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A- Resembles a Champaign appearance, great lacing, Gold clear appearance, 1 finger head.
S- Hop aromas, hints of malts, very mild earthy notes, slight sweet aroma as well
T- Very light taste, well balanced, malts and wheat are apparent
M- Very light, easy to drink and refreshing, great carbonation.
D- Very easy drink, low ABV, nice bear to drink on a warm sunny day. Nothing too outstanding, still a solid wheat beer from 3 Floyds. (477 characters)

Photo of seedsofchaos
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No freshness markings on bottle. "Red wheat and boatloads of Amarillo hops give this American Wheat brew a lemony finish. Slight haze in the bottle is yeast added for bottle-conditioning."

Pours clear and brilliantly clean. Straw yellow with a touch of honey for color. No head but the skimming of carbonation formed from a hearty pour. Three single streams of tiny bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Some small streams of lacing. Clean appearance. A bit yeasty in the aroma, definite wheat, bready malts, citrus rind, a touch of orange and Amarillo hops.

Lager-esque from start to finish. Zesty? Definitely. Smooth and refreshing but lacking any hardcore Amarillo character that I was hoping for. A touch of spice follows a bready body. Wheat bread aftertaste.

Not being a big fan of wheat beers, I still find this Three Floyds offering refreshing and quite good. The addition of all Amarillo hops add a bit of a natural citrus character that do this style well. No need for an orange wedge on the glass. The orange flavor is right from the bottle as intended by the brewer. Admittedly, I'm enjoying the aftertaste more than the beer itself. Aftertaste is, again, wheat bread but with a lot of subtle sweetness from other malts and the lovely orange rind touches... Nice. (1,283 characters)

Photo of bryanbrick
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was an extra from d0b. My first trader and he really hooked me up. Thanks buddy. This was my first beer back after a horrible, horrible week.

I love the wackiness of the FFF labels. A perfect combination of playfulness, cubism and early '90's day glow.

Bottle undated. This was poured vigorously and did little. Barely any head formed and was shy to come back with some hearty swirling of the glass. Clear as day with a nice orange hued bronze color. With the slightest bit of husk particles clinging to the bottom of the head. A bit disappointing in this department. But looks aren't everything.

A bit different aromatically for a wheat beer. You really get more hops (Amarillo) than the grainy, banana, clove and estery notes you'd associate with a wheat beer. I like it but it caught me a bit off guard at first. The gets deeper and the dried fruitiness of the Amarillo hops really comes on strong as this warms.

On the palate this seems a bit light, transparent and ghost-ish. A kind of now you taste it now you don't beer. With all the hops in the nose you'd expect a carryover but they are barely there. With the wheat you'd expect the citrusy, grainy goodness, but alas there is little. The light lemon, rolled oat and cinnamon sugar spice is nice enough but very short of amazing.

I like the low carbonation and the broad feel to this beer. It lingers. It grows sip after sip, those light flavors grow and grow. And the brightness at the edges of the mouth is a nice touch.

Overall I think this may be a less than fresh bottle given the mildness of the Amarillo hops which I typically find to be very agressive when present and young. Why do people still not date the bottles they produce? Can't figure it out.

Bottom line not an "Extreme" beer but a well crafted one and one I would truly enjoy putting down a 6pk at a time. With the <5% ABV this also won't put a huge hurt on ya. Summer time fun!

Thanks again Dave for the great trade and the great beers. You are a champ! (1,998 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 12 fl oz/355 ml bottle acquired in a trade with mps
Bottled 02/13/14
Served in a pint glass

Nearly clear, light golden-amber appearance. Just a touch of yeast sneaked into the glass on the pour, clouding the liquid ever-so-slightly. The beer was topped by a tight, creamy and bubbly, off-white crown that slowly dropped to a clingy film. Rings of dippy lacing coated much of the glass.

The aroma was interesting. Hoppy yet somewhat subtle initially. The hops were fruity and citrusy. Good amount of tangerine and orange peel. Some white grapefruit as well. Touch of lemony tartness. Really pleasant overall, but I was hoping for a bit more punchiness. Subtle tropical fruit notes came out as the beer warmed. Mango and papaya were detectible. Some sweet malt notes appeared as well. Impressive.

The flavor profile was also very hop forward but, unlike the nose, it was much more dry and bitter. Orange peel led things off. Loads of white grapefruit. Super lemony and tart in the center. A pale malt base hardly managed to keep the hops in check. Lemony tartness and bitter grapefruit rind carried into the bone dry, resiny finish. Pithy, bitter hop notes lingered on my palate long after every sip.

The mouthfeel was solid. Medium bodied for the style. The liquid contained a crisp, lively effervescence that turned slick, creamy and smooth on the palate.

Gumballhead definitely pushes the limits of an American pale wheat ale. Although I typically love all types of extreme beers, I wish that this one had more wheat character and was truer to the style. (1,573 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a growler from Chuck's a couple of weeks ago and I'm finally getting around to cracking this one open... Hope I didn't wait too long...

Pours an orangish golden with a very slow forming head of about 1/2 inch or so which fades pretty quickly.. good carbonation though so I don't think it's faded a whole lot just yet..

Very hop dominant aromas coming out of the glass with a big orange kick to it... Lots of citrus aromas along with the slightest breath of wheat to it... Definitely more hop forward then any other American Pale Wheat I've ever had... This could be interesting...

Well... It's definitely hoppier than any other wheat ale I've ever had.. but it just doesn't seem as hoppy as the aromas would indicate.. It actually reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which I do love but it just doesn't feel right here.. I think I let this sit around longer than I should have so it could be my fault... It's not unpleasant in the least but I think I built this up so much in my mind after having a sample that I was expecting a hop monster which this isn't... Fairly straightforward pale ale taste with a wheat ale label...

I liked the beer... don't get me wrong... But there's no wow factor that made me immediately wish I'd bought another growler of it.. (1,272 characters)

Photo of Bennettrox
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Hawks10 for this one!

A - Tangerine with a white foamy 1 finger head.

S - Strong citrus, pine, hops, and lemon.

T - More citrus, strong malt finish, tasting a bit of orange and grapefruit.

M - Right amount of carbonation, medium bodied. Goes down quite easy.

O - Enjoyed this one, first offering from Three Floyds. Great refreshing summer beer - would seek out again. (379 characters)

Photo of SykDoc
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap while in Munster for DLD '09 and took notes.

Poured into a pint glass, it appears a decent straw color. A 1/4 inch off-white head forms and a nice lacing is left behind.

The aroma struck me to include notes of pine mixed with an earthy/mossy component. This was mixed with a healthy level of citrusy hops.

The taste was reasonable to me. I got a healthy dose of orange peel and pine with some malty sweetness hiding out in the background.

The mouthfeel started out quite crisp, like due to the carbonation. It is light/medium bodied and has a very nice and dry finish.

Overall, this was a good beer and fairly well balanced. I could see how many people like it and I do think it competes, but it definitely not what I would usually drink. (761 characters)

Photo of STEG
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an interesting yellow-orange hue into a perfect pint. Smell is hoppy with some wheat and a skunky sour apple undertone. Taste is dominated by what I'm guessing are summit hops then fades to a citrusy slightly wheaty taste. Mouthfeel is very smooth and a bit chewy. I could have a few of these. (299 characters)

Photo of IPAdams
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours a transparent dark gold with a 2 finger, foamy white head that lingers for a while and leaves moderate lacing.

Smell- Pine and citrusy hops with a bit of sweetness. Pleasant smell but not very strong. Not sure if its in my head but it does smell a bit like gumballs.

Taste- Lemony citrus, pale malts, just a light bitterness followed by a nice, sugary sweetness. Good taste but like the smell isn't very strong and not very complex.

Mouthfeel- Pretty light, almost like a pilsner. Carbonation is also a bit on the light side, especially for it to be a "wheat" beer.

Overall- Pretty tasty beer, not as good as a lot of pale ales but still worth trying nonetheless. (685 characters)

Photo of scaliasux
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Light yellow. A little hazy. Short white head that disappears very quickly.

Smell - Not getting more than a hint of banana of clove. Very prominent grassy and grapefruity hops.

Taste - Begins with a just a little malty sweetness. Quickly overwhelmed by substantial hops flavor. Sour citrus - grapefruit or lemon. Something else - a mild dry bitterness. Not entirely sure how it gets there, but the overall impression is a dry, somewhat bitter tropical fruit drink.

Mouthfeel - Pretty light, a little watery even.

Overall - This isn't like any other wheat beer I've had. And since I haven't had may american pale wheat ales, it's hard to say if this beer is an outlier or just an example of a style I haven't explored. In any event, I wouldn't put this on my favorites list, but it is new to me - and that's gotta count for something. (850 characters)

Photo of Beric
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving: On-tap in a nonic pint
Served: 11 April 2014

Appearance: Crystal clear, which is somewhat weird for a wheat beer in my opinion. Good deep golden color. Small, foamy white head that leaves incredible lacing. The lacing is beautiful on this one.

Smell: Smells like fresh hops with a slight bit of lemongrass.

Taste: This one was a little weird, honestly. The front of the palate was dominated by juicy, fresh hoppiness and then there was an astringent, somewhat harsh finish. The wheat flavor added some grassy graininess to this without any of the characteristic soft banana tones usually found in this still. This made the taste mid-swallow and on the back of the tongue really unbalanced towards this strange taste note of weird bitter grassiness. The hop flavors were really most evident in the front of the palate and immediately disappeared.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery, especially after sitting for a little while.

Overall: I was unimpressed with this one. The taste was very unbalanced and awkward, especially mid-swallow and after swallowing. The wheat seems to have thinned the beer and added weird astringent tastes rather than being used to build body and soft banana esters. I would like to see this one unfiltered and more like a hopped up Oberon, 312 Urban Wheat, or witbier. Disappointed. (1,315 characters)

3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a standard glass pint. Pours a cloudy golden straw color with a bunch o' carbonation. BIG, firm banana colored head. Foamy & fluffy with staying power that leaves clouds of lace that line the sides of the glass.

Smells of light lemon zest & hops.
The beer is malty smooth & light with a fizzy mouth & refreshing citrus finish. The hops could be a little strong through the swallow. Wheat & grain is very subtle & well concealed. In the mix...hops present better than the malts. NO bitter aftertaste. Easy to drink. Crisp & light. Not too complex or strong. A little weaker than I expected in the mouth. This is a nice "go to" beer on a summer day. While not one of my favorites from FFF, certainly worth drinking if you can get it fresh.
Recommended. (784 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a thin, fizzy half finger white head that immediately disappears leaving only the smallest spots of lacing.

Surprisingly hoppy aroma for the style with a prominent earthy pine presence as well as hints of citrus and tropical. I'm picking up pine needle, grapefruit and lemon peel as well as some faint malt but not many characteristics of a wheat beer. Slight bread/yeast and citrus fruit but not much in the way of spice/clove. It smells great just not like a wheat beer.

Medium bodied with a good balance of earthy and citrus hops, crisp, light fruit, citrus peel and spice. There is some earthy pine needle and citrus/tropical fruit notes from the hops but it isn't as hop forward as the aroma suggests. The wheat beer characteristics are much more prevalent in the palate and flavor. Good balance of bread/yeast, citrus peel and clove notes. Clean, crisp and easy drinking with a slightly dry finish. (957 characters)

Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a murky dark yellow in color with a one-finger white head with little retention. Smell is definitely hop forward with nice fruity grapefruit, orange, SLIGHTLY piny hops that make for a nice nose. Maybe this is just so well balanced but I have a hard time smelling the sweet malts but I have a feeling some of the nice aroma is some nice sweet caramel malts. Taste is definitely slightly more malty. Really seems well balanced between the malts and the hops but the hops are a little more forward. Slightly too hoppy for a wheat beer by style but it still tastes like a nice APA. Mouthfeel is nicely thick with some nice carbonation to support the beer. Overall this is a really good beer but it tastes more like an APA than a wheat beer. I love the beer but just rating by style.

After seeing the style is AP wheat ale I am rerating the numbers because that is more like I would have thought this beer is. (916 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Beerguy for the sample ...

A- Shimmering weathered golden hue, thick foamy head sticks like a champ.

S- Beautiful aromatics from the hops. Powdered aspirin, mandarin orange and lemon zest?

T- Big on hops, lots of that aspirin like bitterness from the Amarillo hops. Oily yet very sharp. Malt sweetness struggles to break through the hop barrier, enough comes by to keep things somewhat balanced. The crisp character of the wheat actually intensifies the sharpness of the bitterness which becomes a tad bothersome IMO.

M- A bit more body than I thought there was going to be, lining of crispness in the middle.

D- I could see having a pint or two if I needed a quick hop fix. (700 characters)

Photo of GregBlatz
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Second Three Floyd's I've had a chance to try.

A - Very straw like color. head is almost non existent. Beer is very clear. Particularly because it is a wheat beer. No chill haze and no protein or yeast haze.

S - Citrus hops and slight grain. Not very aggressive.

T - Wow, the hops really come forward. Great orange citrus flavor. Graininess and bitterness at the finish. Very slight fruity esters.

M - Thin, not very carbonated and very session like.

D - Very drinkable and refreshing. This would be great on a hot summer day. Too bad it is the middle of winter in Ohio.

Overall I really like this. It is a thinner, smaller pale ale. Hard to even tell that there is wheat in there. Just a graininess in the finish. I don't detect any specialty grains at all. This is a simple refreshing summer beer for those that love American hops. (840 characters)

Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,460 ratings.