Gumballhead - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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1,461 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,461
Hads: 5,271
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.75%
Wants: 914
Gots: 960 | 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: 1,461 | Hads: 5,271
Photo of mcb4538
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft, appears light golden with half finger of head.  Appears very carbonated, but dies quickly. Smells of fresh grass and pines.  Complimemted by amazing floral tastes. The hops are not overbearing in the least. Very smooth taste and mouthfeel. This would make a great session beer. Very impressive.  (308 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer has always been on my wish-list. Finally, the beer gods have heard my case and provided my local liquor store with a couple cases of the delicious nectar of the F³, at an unfortunately cost-prohibitive $5.99 per bomber.

An interesting and trademark lo-fi scrappy smoking cat on the front as well as a strangely day-glo splattering of colors adorn the bottle.

Upon the opening of this beer, I knew I was about to float on the sea of Amarillo. The hop smell was clearly apparent 3-4' away from the beer, and once I poured it into my snifter I was unable to pull my head away from the wonderously grapefruity hops. A light wheatiness and gum-drop element was also noted.

The color was surprisingly tame, a light Pale-Ale straw color with a fluffy 2.5" head that stayed and left a great deal of lacing.

The taste takes everything you love about wheat-beers and throws convention out the window. No bottle-yeast, very little banana-clove phenols, and my god the hops. Most hoppy beers with a low ABV fall victim to the one-dimensional bitterness phenomenon - too much bitterness, blocking out the sun of well-rounded hop flavor. This is the complete counterpoint to that, soaking as much flavor from the hop while somehow cloaking and ignoring the characteristic bitterness. The mouthfeel is amazing for such a small alcohol beer, and the sweetness is kept in check, never overwhelming any of the hoppiness or refreshing wheatiness.

This is now my favorite "wheat beer". But I think of it as a sessionable Wheat-IPA. I could easily suck down 3 of these bombers, but my wallet sure wouldn't like me for it. (1,627 characters)

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to beersndrums for this one!

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Slightly hazy pale gold color with a 2-finger very bubbly, white head. Nice retention but not too much lacing. With only a little bit of haze, a lot of bubbles can be visualized.

S – A lot of fruity hops with orange, grapefruit, and maybe pineapple notes and a mild sweet wheat presence. Smells really nice.

T – It starts off sweet with grainy, bready wheat malt and fruits like orange, pineapple, and mango. As the taste progresses, mild bitterness washes in, bringing grapefruit hop notes with it, but the sweetness still remains. There may be some peppery yeast coming in at the finish, as well. It’s interesting – this beer has a ton of fruity hop flavor but not a ton of bitterness. I’m not sure how they did it, but it’s very tasty.

S – Light-bodied, great carbonation, a creamy but refreshingly crisp mouthfeel, and a bittersweet, mildly spicy, and dry finish. Fruity hop flavors and a bit of peppery yeast linger for a nice amount of time.

O – This is a very, very well-done beer. It fits the style to a tee, is very tasty, and insanely drinkable. Like I said before, I’m not sure how they fit all the hop aromas and flavors in without giving this thing some inappropriately high bitterness, but it’s good news for everyone that they did. I’ve always been interested in how an American pale wheat ale had such a high score on a site where DIPAs and BA stouts rule the roost and now I know why – it’s simply a great beer. This was my first Three Floyds beer and I’d LOVE to try more. Thank you SO much for the opportunity to try this one, Jared! (1,718 characters)

Photo of stewart124
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was finally able to get my hands on this years after I tried it in a bomber when I first saw it on shelves in Athens, Ohio. Thanks Dave for bringing a six pack to Cincinnati.

Pale gold in color with a decent white head.

Nose packs that juicy fruit character that Amarillo brings. Some straw and grassy characters as well.

Crisp and refreshing with a beautiful hop bouquet. How can this only be 35 ibus? Lemon zest and peach esters pop while it finishes fairly dry. Bread and straw come through from what is probably a fairly simple grain bill. Simplicity done at it's best.

Sets the standard for a pale wheat. I can think of nothing better than a couple of these after some yard work. (692 characters)

Photo of RachelZ
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite beers! It has a golden orange pour with a white head. Strong hops and citrus fruit are detected in the aroma with lemons and tangerines. The taste is how it smells with some peach. It is crisp, smooth and light! Great with all different kinds of foods! (279 characters)

Photo of bomberboysk
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving: 12oz Bottle into pint glass.

A: Very transparent and medium to light gold in color. Medium lacing.

S: First thing that hits you are the hops, followed by a heavy citrus element reminiscent of orange zest and then some mild herbal undertones. Overall it's a spicy, yet very smooth smell.

T: The sweet, grassy taste of the beer is well balanced with the bitterness from the hops. Citrus is again present here as well, with the wheat element of the beer being somewhat overpowered by the hops. Clean, dry finish with some lingering citrus and bitterness.

M: Medium-light, Carbonation is spot on for my tastes, which may make it slightly flat for others as I prefer less carbonation. Overall it works well with the flavors of the beer.

O: Overall another great beer from 3 Floyds, and so far my favorite APWA...definitely a great beer to sit down with on a spring day or summer night. Reviewing this beer on it's own, however it seemed to pair quite well with a chicken Caesar salad last night. (1,007 characters)

Photo of jlandis
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a clear straw golden in color with two finger white head that doesn't last too long. I'm used to my wheat beers being a little hazy with fluffy white heads, so this seems a bit off, but the tiny little bubbles screaming up the side of the glass make up for it. The nose is full of beautiful amarillo hops that are floral and sweet (tangerines and bright fruit)! The flavor is everything I could have hoped for! Sweet wheat malt with bright grassy floral hops. The body is nice and light with solid carbonation.

This is a fantastic beer, and I'm ashamed that it took me this long to get my hands on some. I sure wish Three Floyds would distribute to PA. I'm going to have to get tons more of this in trades. I love the combination of wheat and boat loads of hops. (778 characters)

Photo of julian
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review #2. This is my last 12oz bottle from a 6 pack received in the same trade as indicated below. I felt I needed to retain my original review but re-review based on my now complete love for this beer! I am only re-reviewing the categories in which my opinion has changed.

S: hoppy floral aroma, tons of citrus abound, sweet candy like aroma. The smell is absolutely intoxicating!

T: light hop bite up front followed by an onslaught of citrus flavors and candy like malt sweetness. This is one beer you must try over and over to fully appreciate. It's definitely grown on me and is quite possibly one of my favorite summer/session brews!

D: This is an amazing beer, with a unique and perfect balance of hops and citrus and malt that make this a truly engaging beer time after time. Highly sessionable!


Received in a trade from cpferris. Thank you!!!

A: pours an absolutely clear golden color with a slight orange hue. effervescence is visible but subdued. barely any head from a vigorous pour...disappeared immediately. sparse sticky wet lacing. Deducting points for lack of head and head retention.

S: hoppy floral aroma....that's about it.

T&M: low-medium hop bite. clean, refreshing and crisp. Goes down easy. Due to the bitterness of the hops (albeit mild), I can't really taste anything else...kind of a disappointment as I was looking forward to this and hoping to taste more citrus and wheat notes. There is however a dry lemony sour note in the aftertaste.

D: easy drinking, nice and crisp and average abv make this a good summer beer. I could see how one would want to pound these back. I gave it a good rating for drinkability, but I don't think I can even drink one more...not being a hop head, even the slight hop bite in this is dominating my palate.

Overall: Gonna have to agree with the Bros here. This is a "good" beer, but not amazing. (1,869 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great hazy wheat appearance, slight head, mid range to dark yellow color.

If you've smelled a better floral hop aroma in a wheat beer, let me know. Can't think of anything comparable beyond Sumpin x2.

Phenomenal hop quality in a wheat beer, again reminiscient of the Lagunitas product, maybe superior, regardless we're talking about the best 2 in the world. Would guess dry hopped Amarillo for days. Good dry finish in the mouthfeel. Could drink forever. Little more citrus orange than the grapefruit feel. About a 60/40 split.

Would have given it another .5 if didn't have to deal with the hassle of getting the beer. (621 characters)

Photo of peabody
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out very clear straw yellow to amber with a nice two fingers of white suds. Not a lot of lacing here.
Smell is citrusy and piney. Lots of pine. Grapefruit and caramel and hops are the abundant aroma here.
Taste is clean and the pine is just wonderful here. Three Floyds has the best hops I have ever tasted/smelled. Grapefruit with a sweet sugary aftertaste makes this one of the best wheat beers in the world. I had to order these beers from Sam's Wine and Spirits in Chicago. Beer cost $60 the shipping was $45.
Worth it though cause these hops are ruling me now.
(577 characters)

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

first off ive been excited to try this beer ever since i heard the name, it rocks. appearance is golden straw colored and perfect. head is nearly nonexistent to begin with and whats there disappears quickly. whats left over is the scent of the gods. it smells like candy and sweet hops, laced with lemon and fruity citrus. the remainder of enjoying this beer consists of three things...
i feel like im lucky to be drinking it
my mouth is happy as a pig in s#*t
i want more, and wish i didnt pass my second bottle onto someone else for tasting.
all in all i will re-review when i get more but as it stands right now this beer is awesome and SEEK IT OUT (651 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Got a pint at the brewpub a few weeks ago. This is from notes.

Clear light orange, wispy shortlived head drapes the pint glass in a layer of foam. Huge citrus and wheat crispness in the in the nose. Delicate grapefruit and lime in the first sip. Building bitterness and sweet, crisp malt meld together flawlessly. Lemon rind shows with warmth. Light mouthfeel with spritz y effervescence. The finish is moderately bitter and very long lasting.

This is the best American wheat beer Ive ever had. So much sumptuous malt and hop flavor, with a pronounced hoppiness. Incredible stuff. Stupidly quaffable and a must try before you die beer for any craft beer lover. (662 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received as an extra in a trade, poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice almost crystal clear strawish hue with a nice one finger one head that faded to leave light lacing but a nice nice head retention.

S - Aromas are lots of hops, nice light tropical and pine with light sweetness and floral aromas.

T - More of those great hop notes, bright citrus and pine, some subtle flowers. Super delicious. Wish I could give this a 4.75, but I'd like some more wheat with this to give it a 5.

M - Mouthfeel is great though, very nicely done for a pale wheat, great hop finish.

O - Yeah, Three Floyds really makes some excellent beers. You've got Russian River on the west coast, Hill Farmstead on the east coast, and Three Floyds in the central. Delicious. (758 characters)

Photo of ginemesis
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- for a wheat, it's very clear

S- apricots and lemon

T- Citrusy, taste the interesting flavor I can't pinpoint. Slight bubblegum flavor - like a stick of Juicy Fruit

M- creamy, wet and smooth

O- An unexpected delight from a wheat category: light, refreshing and great clarity. (295 characters)

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at Jak's Tap

Appearance - Hazy Golden Straw color with a good amount of lacing on the sides. Little bubbles of carbonation creeping up the sides of the glass

Smell - Piney hops, grapefruits, wheat, yeasts and malts. Very rich smelling!

Taste - Piney Hops, Wheats, Malts, yeasts and a slight lemon zesty feel. The flavor is very rich and it tastes alot better than it smells. Also doesn't have that grassy flavor that I've seen in wheat beers.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with a moderate carbonated kick that gives it a crisp and refreshing feel. It's not smooth but all things considered, it works out quite well.

Overall - I loved this! Three Floyds continues to impress me with their line-up, and in the process of doing so, have given me my new favorite wheat beer! (777 characters)

Photo of clintone
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just about the best thing about my move to West Lafayette, IN was that Three Floyds is sold all over the place. In my effort to try them all I picked up a 6 pack of this at a local liquor store

A- a very nice golden brown, very clear, only the slightest hint of haze. Not a lot of head, maybe 1/4" or so, but good lacing throughout.

S- I hadn't read any reviews on this before I got it so I wasn't sure what to expect and it kind of shocked me to smell it at first. Very flowery and citrusy, like lemon grass almost. Very crisp and refreshing.

T - Just like it smelled, a different taste than I was expecting, I actually wasn't to fond of it at first sip. By time I had finished the whole beer though it was excellent. Very citrusy and hoppy, it's difficult to actually explain because I've never tasted anything quite like it.

M - Extremely crisp and refreshing. Very nicely carbonated.

D - Not only could I have drank several, I did. My friend was so impressed that he went out after we polished off the 6 pack and got another. (1,034 characters)

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single purchased for me by a friend at Keg Liquors in Indiana. Poured into a Sierra Nevada Hop Tulip glass.

A: Pours a very clear straw gold color with a frothy white head that is about half a finger thick. It has good retention and nice lacing.

S: A very nice fruity hop aroma that is a departure for most of the examples of the style that I have had. It definitely makes me want to take a sip.

T: A nice wheat backbone is perfectly balanced with a nice fruity bitterness. I typically do not care for pale wheat ales, but this one is very very tasty. This is one beer where the reputation of a Pale Ale being the little sister of the IPA really rings true. What a wonderful hoppy (but not bitter) version of the style.

M: Nice and creamy smooth. It has a nice medium body which seems a bit thicker than many in the style.

D: This beer goes down extremely easy. I wish I had another bottle to drink.

I really like this beer. I can tell the score is going to be one of my highest. Its one of the few times that a true session beer has really kept my interest. If I lived in Indiana, I could see this being a staple beer in my fridge. That says a lot, because I have never had a staple beer in my fridge. (1,215 characters)

Photo of Xadoor
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle given to me by a friend from Indiana.

Poured a pale golden colour with a big white head that eventually settled down to a thin white layer of small bubbles. The aroma is all citrus and floral hops with a slight graininess. The hops is equally strong in the flavour with a hint of the wheat. A bit of a green, grassy finish that mellowed slightly as the beer warmed. You definitely need to be a big fan of Amarillo hops to enjoy this beer and fortunately, I am! A delicious and highly drinkable beer, particularly for the summer months. (550 characters)

Photo of Beervis
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours from the bomber a deep gold with a thick white head.

Smell is hop heavy right off the bat, very flowery and grapefruity, as well as a faint sweetness.

Taste is extraordinary. Medium bodied with a huge hop bitterness and tangy sweetness. Very smooth and filling in the mouth. Malt tones aren't dominant, but are definitely there. Finishes with a bitter dry snap.

What an amazing wheat beer. This is exactly what one should expect from an American Wheat, smooth and quenching, with a bitter smack...incredible...perfect! (533 characters)

Photo of lookitsfelias
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a beautiful golden with slight orange tinge. Thin soda like head with very minimal lacing.

S - Smells like bright, but not overpowering hops. Light pine, sweet grass, red wheat.

T - Taste is incredible. Light, sweet, perfect balance of hops and wheat while still boasting a full flavor.

M - Crisp, bubbly and refreshing. Very drinkable.

O - This is an outstanding beer and easily one of the best wheats i've ever had. Most people shy away from wheat beers because of the blue moon's and hoegaardens, which in my opinion give wheats a bad name. This is a perfect example of what the style is capable of. A go to in warm summer days or when you crave something light but packed with flavor. Very surprised at the somewhat average/low rating by the bros. (766 characters)

Photo of supercolter
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is an exceptional beer, especially for the style. I was a bit disappointed in the appearance. To me there is nothing special here. Smell is phenominal- a nice blast of floral hops and citrus fruit. Taste is similar, but more complex. Such a clean finish and great slightly sweet malt to finish. Mouthfeel is above average, but little to no carbonation. Drinkability is the best I have ever had. (399 characters)

Photo of semihobo
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a fresh six pack.

Pours into a pint glass with a trim white head, dies fast but leaves good lacing down the sides. The beer is pretty clear itself, instead of a general haziness you can make out each of the thousands of individual particles in suspension. Trippy. Two bigger chunks of yeast sank promptly to the bottom.

That smell is insanely good and powerful, it hits you from a few feet away. The fruitiest hops I have smelled, like a sugar Del Monte canned fruit cocktail. Mostly apricot and pineapple. A hint of walking through wet woods as well as a touch of mint. It is tempting to just keep smelling it, but that's not what beer is for.

Rather than the simple traditional wheat malt profile, Gumballhead has amber malt and toasted notes blending with the graininess. The wheat malt combines with the hops to produce the taste of tangerines, especially on the finish. Hops are floral and fruity, just how I like them, with a peak strength in the sip that is reminiscent of an IPA. Bitterness is moderate, though, except on the finish where it kicks up a notch. Sweet but not cloying.

Mouthfeel is part luxurious, with soft bubbling, and part syrupy, especially toward the finish. Perfect soft carbonation to let the taste shine, it plays the supporting role well. Medium-light mouthfeel is right for the style.

Drinkability takes a small hit due to the intense flavors in this beer. It is the beer equivalent of a rich double-chocolate cake: so delicious, but it would be overwhelming to have it for an entire meal. It is the most expensive APWA I have seen... and now I understand why, and that it is worth every penny. (1,650 characters)

Photo of david131
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Slightly hazy and yellow with some floaters in there. A thin white head resides on top.

S- Smells wonderful. This beer has something special to it. Light citrus, fruit, a tad bit of biscuity malt. Pretty aromatic.

T- Same as the aroma. A very tasty beverage that is well balanced and clean.

M- Nice, dry, and clean. Pretty smooth.

D- Delicious and easy. I could drink this all day and I wish I could get this is Michigan. (429 characters)

Photo of thetomG
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear light amber color. Nice amount of fluffy white head. Very little lacing left around the glass.

Aroma is EASILY my favorite aspect of this beer (and while its great in a bottle, the aroma really shines on draft) - MASSIVE waves of fruity floral scents dominate - it almost smells like bubblegum at times. VERY impressive.

Flavor is a bit more subdued but still wonderful. Medium sweetness, light body - nice hints of citrus and hops smoothed out well by the wheat.. Nice balance all around really.

This is the beer that got me into "good" beer and I just keep coming back to it time and time again.

FANTASTIC! (618 characters)

Photo of jfunkk79
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really enjoyed this offering from FFF. Thanks twelvsies for the tasting!

Like all of the beers from them I've tasted, it has a nice hop aroma. Hazy copper appearance with thin pillowy head. The wheat is balanced nicely with the sweet hop flavor. Very refreshing and drinkable. One of my favs from FFF so far. (309 characters)

Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,461 ratings.