Gumballhead - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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1,461 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,461
Hads: 5,275
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.75%
Wants: 914
Gots: 963 | FT: 36
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: 5,275
Photo of Boilermaker88
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a 22oz bomber and poured into one of my hefeweizen glasses. Gumballhead had a lightly hazy honey color with a rapidly diminishing white head and some random large clots of carbonation.
The smell had a dominant lemon and pine aroma that was really appealing. It clearly outpaced the modest wheat and malt nose lurking underneath all that citrusy scent. The taste was definitely an American wheat beer, just amped up on hops. The juicy citrus flavor and more moderate pine taste melded with a lightly honeyed malt and spice for a delicious take on wheat beers. There was a nice perky tartness I couldn't pin down that further added to the brew's complexity. The feel was medium/light in body, dry, crisp and clean.
Gumballhead is far and away the best American wheat beer I've tried. It had just the right balance. I've got one left and I doubt it will survive the first quarter of tonight's MNF game. Big thanks to qarre for the hook-up! (951 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. A dreary golden color with a fantastic white head atop that refuses to die. The aroma is powerful, complex, and simply put, great. Just a touch of wheat in the nose, yielding more of a piney hop aroma and fresh citrus fruits. This is a wheat beer right? Upon sipping it, I am reminded of this fact. The aroma is deceiving from the flavor, and I must say I did expect a bit more complexity in the taste. Wheat malts and a pleasant, lingering sweetness are the story here. Mouthfeel is slightly dry, crisp, and extremely refreshing. One of the best session beers ever I am guessing, and one of the most unique beers of its kind. Very impressive. (656 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a big ole double duece bottle that touts an odd humourous cartoon character cigarette smoker.

Odd hazy unfiltered pour with plenty of yeast scrod chunks suspended in the brew. THe head that settles quickly to a halo ring pour into a pint glass. Ivory white scattered lace is left over.

Stringent "make my nose pucker" hops dry aroma, lemon hard candy malt twinge.

First swigs: Lemon Starburst candy dusty bitter malts & hops shiver pucker. Medium slick finish lemon rind. Dry aftertaste. Honey in the middle of the finish.

Light to medium body rather drinkable.

Last swigs: A bit one dimensional, but over, a malty pucker lemony hops brew that is extremely flavorful.

Beer is good. Happy beering. (728 characters)

Photo of proc
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out to a bright and satin colored dark gold in the glass with a moderate head. The aroma is wonderful and gives of hints of pine, wheat and citrus. The taste is very good to near exceptional. It starts off like a Pale Ale, with hints of pine, spruce, citrus and hops and weaves its way into honey, wheat and spice. I've never experienced a wheat or summer beer with such a range of tastes. Excellent. (406 characters)

Photo of shapudding
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting to try this, what with all the hub-bub and all.... finally had some sitting at the Drafting Room, and Steve was nice enough to chuck this on ice so we could finally have at it!

Clear, golden honeyed. The head came and went quick... after only a minute there was just a bit of creamy white froth in a ring at the edges and a slight dusting left in the center. Sharp hoppy and sweetness float from the glass... Juicyfruit gum and grapefruit as an aroma... hmmmm.... Such an interesting taste... Honey taste and honey feeling. Sweet and wheaty, yet hoppy. Lemon hard candy in the background, -not the good LemonHead ones, the crappy ones you find in the doctor office candydishes (my Dad is a Psychologist, I know them oh-too-well) Fills your mouth with a medium bodied, almost smooth but not really creamy texture. I'm not seeing the carbination but I can feel it a bit on my tongue. I'm really liking this one, great session. Such good flavors, and like I said, interesting. The body makes it an easy drinker. Nothing is too overpowering to make it annoying, just nice and yummy. (1,094 characters)

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big froathy white head leaves a scattered islands of lace as it slowly to a thin coating. Transparent straw colored beer with dozens of tiny carbonation streams rising from the bottom. Beer is at cellar temp and there is a mellow bubblegum flavor to the beer, not much else, a light malt base. Nice soft mouthfeel carries the flavor to the tongue. Resinous hop aroma. A nice tasting, simple beer that's easy drinking. I (419 characters)

Photo of donnebaby
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I haven't had a wheat ale that tastes this good ever I don't think. A nice layer of mellow cereals and another of peachy (iced tea) sweetness add character, while the aftertaste is just awesome and unique, of toasted wheat and oats and cereals busting out with flavor and texture. Almost like eating a chocolate wheat bar, if that's possible. Good stuff. Some hop touches as well, not to be remiss.

Besides the taste, the looks are funky, slightly opaque rich amber body and bizarre ice crystal lacing and spotchy head are cool. Nose is weak I thought, but more or less normal for the style. Sweet, sharp malts, which developed into a citric tropical orange/grapefruit. Nice.

Mellow taste and addictive aftertaste, combined with the awesome body, make this brew exceptionally drinkable. (792 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Light Orange.

Heavily aromatic, mainly passion fruits (peach, tangerine and lemon. The grains bring forth biscuits and caramel in the aroma.

An interesting, unorthodox approach to the style but I don't find this to be all that different from loads of others. It is hoppier, no doubt, but whatever the hops bring they take away equally. Notes of lemon and other citrus fruits. (381 characters)

Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at BW3s in Indy. Really much better on tap than from the bottle. Not a great looking beer...almost neon yellow and a bit hazy with just barely a head...but the nose is incredible!! Straight up Oranges and grapefruit!! Really nice. Not overpowering, not harsh, but just right. The hops really shine on the palette as well. Nice mellow citrus flavors are really great.

Very very very drinkable. (412 characters)

Photo of soper2000
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Might as well stick to 3Floyds brews, right? I am lucky enough to have an ample supply of Gumballhead available to me at the Village Bottle Shop in Lafayette (no, I won't complain about the price here). This is a truly great brew which brings me pride when thinking of it's Indiana origins. It pours a golden/orange color with a magnificent white head which has good retention. Aroma is nice and hoppy, very citric for a wheat beer. Finally some grassy notes seep through. Taste is extremely well balanced. A little bit of hoppiness backed up by some nice sweet malt flavors. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. If only I had the money to make this my session beer (ok, i did complain). This is a marvel of brewing and I have yet to have anything similiar. One of my favorite 3Floyds beers. Try it if you can. (802 characters)

Photo of Winter
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber with a white head. Thick aroma of piney hops bubble gum, lemony citrus and tropical fruit (papaya and pineapple). The mouthfeel is medium bodied and soft. Straight-forward wheat malt upfront. Some caramel flavors emerge also. Bitterness from the amarillo hops pops about about midway and introduces the lone piney finish. Excellent! The hoppiness for a wheat beer is unique and fits the 3F's profile to a tee. (428 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a August Schell weiss glass. Copper rust in color, with a moderate sized foamy head. Smells mainly of hops, with some bubblegum sweetness. Taste is hop dominant, with a sweet carmel flavor that is very reminiscent of bubblegum. Aftertaste is very dry, but very appealing. Defintely a tribute to it's style. (339 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big whiff of slightly lemony Amarillo hops open opening. Light copper in color with a slightly uneven, big white head. Juicy orange hop flavor dominates without contributing much bitterness. Slightly piney in the finish with a bit of wheaty tang. A mild sweetness waxes as the beer warms, and lingers a bit in the aftertaste. Quite "big" in terms of flavor but fairly light in the mouth. A terrifically drinkable summertime ale. (428 characters)

Photo of jlervine
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a clear amber with a whte frothy head. The head dissipated relatively shortly, which was disappointing. The aroma is luxuriously hoppy with hints of citrus orange rind. The taste starts off as smooth as a typical American wheat, then goes all Emeril and kicks it up a notch with a stellar, yet still muted and balanced, hop finish. The malts are soft and easy on the palate, and then the hops roll in to town like a biker gang trying an image reconstruction plan. This is a great summer offering from Three Floyd's, and if it were distributed down here I would buy it case after case after tasty case. (608 characters)

Photo of pheurton
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber: hazy golden delicious apple color topped with a bright white creamy layer of foam. head dissipates rather rapidly to nothing. sugary sweet citric hop aroma and not much else. light to medium bodied with a nice crisp level of carbonation. soft bubblegum and sugar-coated hop cone flavor. like dreadnaught in the juicy hop flavor department, minus all the bitterness. seems wheat beer like in texture only, finsishes rather crisp and amazingly somewhat dry. certainly unique...i tend to like originals, and i tend to like originals done well even more. this is a fantastic beer that isn't constrained to a specific style. great summertime drinking...i only wish it were cheaper. $8 for 22oz....ouch. (710 characters)

Photo of FormatKid
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been really interested to try this beer in particular or just about anything from this brewery in general as they seem to be doing good things from what hear around. Packaging is a brown 22oz bomber with a cool crayon looking drawing of a comic book character.

Pours out a pale yellow with a tiny tinge of amber and just a smidge of haze. The head rolls up nicely and recedes somewhat quickly to a nice solid cap of foam resting on top of the brew. A few streamers of teeny-tiny carbonation bubbles roll steadily up to support the head.

Wow, the smell is a unique and very pleasant experience. The tartness of the wheat blends with the citrus of the hops which makes my first impression of the aroma that of a tart candy. Hints of sweeter fruits (banana) are present in the background, but eclipsed by the aroma of citrus and wheat.

The mouthfeel is noticeably more creamy than I would have thought, still light though, and lively with carbonation. The taste is very pleasant. The front is real light, with a taste of grain. The middle presents the “gumball” flavor, and a strong, hoppy, citrus tartness which dominates through-out the finish acquiring a resinous pine presence.

This beer is awesome, really refreshing as well. A great beer to have with lunch, lush and flavorful, but a few of them wouldn’t knock you on your ass. I only wish it were more available around here.. (1,402 characters)

Photo of Southernbrew
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful orange color, 1/2" bubbly head.

Smells like an IPA, this is a wheat beer? All I smell is grapefruit, I guess there's a little grain smell in there.

Full body, quite smooth. Definite wheat flavors blend with a crisp, flowery and citrusy hop presence. Grain flavors begin to show up in the middle along with light bread flavors. Flowery hop flavors wrap it up and leave a light bitterness behind.

A very interesting wheat beer, refreshing on hot days, but packs the hop dose I need. (499 characters)

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface this review by saying that this is one weird beer–a pale, wheat ale. Immediately, my taste buds were expecting that typical wheat beer taste but they were totally caught off guard by the heavy duty hops. It poured a deep golden color, slightly hazy, with a fluffy, off-white head that left tight lacing behind. The aroma was nearly all hops–It smelled entirely of grapefruit, some black pepper, and a slight wheat thing happening in the background. The taste was all hops up front, big grapefruit flavors and plenty spicy. Gently sweet, delicate wheat flavors come through ever so slightly just before a mellow, barely bitter aftertaste sets in. The mouthfeel was medium with medium carbonation. Stuff is highly drinkable. Each swallow leaves you thirsting for another gulp. Good, interesting stuff. Never had a wheat beer like this before. (857 characters)

Photo of stingo
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a hazy orange body with a decent head. Can smell the grapefruityness of the hops in the nose. But what a taste - the palate is almost confused - the mellow wheatiness on the front with the grapefruitiness of the hops in the back makes for a VERY good beer. Eminently quaffable, with a lighter mouthfeel one would expect from a wheat beer more so than an ale. Highly recommended (from someone who is not a hophead). (425 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer came is a 22 oz. brown bomber with no freshness date. The body of the pour was hazy pale yellow with a tall creamy head. The aroma was very flowery hops with a touch of citrus. The taste was refreshingly hoppy and citric with a sweet fruity malt undertone. The mouthfeel was slick and soft with a perfect carbonation. Aftertaste was a bit drying after each swallow, causing you to rush to the next sip. A perfect summer session brew that melds the best aspects of a wheat beer and an IPA.

I got one bomber in trade from francisweizen, and have another one brought from Chicago by Southernbrew. (605 characters)

Photo of ABV
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I recently took a trip to Shangy's in Emmaus Pa. to pick up a few cases of Avery Eleven (a wonderful brew, btw). When I came across an unmarked case of Three Floyd's, I momentarily thought (or hoped) that I had found the Holy Grail -- Dreadnaught. What it was was Gumballhead, apparently the mocking opposite of what I was hoping for, in that it's a light summery wheat beer, not a hop monster. I bought the case (at a very steep $55) anyway. Why? I guess basically on the legendary reputation of Three Floyds. I was not disappointed.

Gumballhead is one of the most drinkable brews I've ever had. It has the look of a wheat beer -- light hazy and fluffy --and the creamy texture of a wheat beer -- but this has hops -- lots of hops. The citrussy yeasty wheat character is there too, but those delicious hops are upfront, and the combination is perfection. If this is Dreadnaught's little brother then ol' Dread deserves its reputation. I even like the weirdo cartoon label. Thumbs up! (987 characters)

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice pale cloudy golden color with amber hues. A billowing head about an inch and a half high rises and recedes with a nice lace on the glass. Initial aromas are wheaty sweet, with some malts and a nice spicy piney hop tone. The flavor of this beer starts off initially sweet with the wheat and other malts giving a nice bready, malty and wheat flavoring. Carbonation to this beer is subtle and crisp with a nice light body to match and an almost creamy texture to it. Following the wheat and malty backbone this beer shows off its nice hop profile with some citrusy zing, a bit of floral notes, some zesty flavors and a final slight bitterness at the end to keep things in check. A little caramel like flavors sneak there way in towards the end of this brew also. Overall an interesting offering from Three Floyd's, that's just in a style of its own really. Definetly a great brew for the summer with a nice hop kick to any of the hop heads out there that needs a change from an IPA. (992 characters)

Photo of TinusTime
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a sample of this from one of my distributors, and was eager to try it as we get so few 3ffloyds products.
Pours a light amber with a large white puffy head. Lots of carbonation and I had to be careful to pour slowly. Smell is a bit of grain and wheat followed by piney hops. Taste is at first one of a nice refreshing wheat, but the Amarillo hops then sneak in and turn the beer into a little hop monkey. Its almost like two beers in one. At first you think you are getting a wheat ale, but by the end you are thinking you might have gotten your glass switched with a pale ale. Mouthfeel is good with pretty hardy carbonation, but for this beer the effervencene works. Drinkability is nice as well as one could put down a few of these quite easily. Might be a bit overpriced and it would be nice if these came in 6 packs. Over all I nice offering. (852 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been saving this one for my week with my best of the many great beers waiting for us both. Beer is a nice light golden color. The head starts out strong and thick, about one finger high, and fades a thick coating around the glass with a light cover over the top of the beer. There is a good malt and hop aroma, with the hops being more prevalent. The hops hit me first followed by a sweetness from the malt finishing with a second coming of the hops. Overall, a very nice flavor combination, as the hops don't linger too long, but just enough for my taste. The beer is moderately thick, but not offensively so. There is not a lot of carbonation burning on my tongue, I had expected more with the bubbling present in the glass. I am highly impressed with this beer and would actively seek it out like I had to trying to find it in the first place. This is a perfect session beer in my opinion. (910 characters)

Photo of oldcrustacean
4.89/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into a 12oz pilsner glass.

Gumballhead's label portrays a pissed off cat smoking a cigarette and riding a bike. (His head is in the shape of a gumball.)

A violent cyclone of bubbles rush to the surface, each fighting for position to penetrate the smooth, delicate lacey head like molten lava from deep within this beer's delicious core. Pouring a light amber, this brew smells as good as it tastes with scents of hopped up peach and apricot. Hops? Yes hops! This isn't just any normal wheat beer.

And now for the first sip! Incredible! The master brewers at Three Floyds have clearly fused the hop vine and the peach tree in an evil lab experiment gone wrong (I mean, right)! These two flavours are perfectly balanced. A fruity sensation dominates the palate before the army of hops overtake everything in their path. Don't get me wrong -- this beer is not overwhelming, it's endlessly drinkable and I'd say damn near perfect, too.

I've been waiting for almost a year to write a beer review and tonight I came to the conclusion that Gumballhead would be fit for my first. I've recently moved to Chicago from Connecticut where we cannot find Three Floyds. Now that I'm here, I treat myself to a bomber or two of Gumball every week. I have even been considering driving the 900 miles back home so that I could stop at the brewery to pick up a keg to share with my friends. At almost $6.00 a bottle, this brew isn't cheap, but like they say -- you get what you pay for. I think I've found my favorite beer. (1,536 characters)

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