Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,551 Reviews
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Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

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

35 IBU

Added by cretemixer on 04-17-2003

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Reviews: 1,551 | Ratings: 5,785
Photo of BlindPig
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- 1" white head. Golden clear color. Thin lacing.
S- Light (floral and citrus) hops, malts, and maybe a bit of fruit.
T- Some light wheat taste and some floral taste. Maybe a hint of fruit also. Light on malts and one other flavor I can't put my finger on.
M-Medium body with medium carbonation. Crisp, bit sticky/chewy but clean.
D- Very good! This is an excellent brew. Goes down very easy and could drink a lot of this especially with it's low ABV. Would be perfect on a very hot summer day.

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Since we can't get TF beers in KC, I've been left to wonder what the hype was all about with this beer. I mean, sure, TF makes good beers, but this is an American wheat, for cryin' out loud. How could it be anything spectacular? So when I finally got a chance to try it at the Map Room in Chicago, I went for it. Man am I glad I did.

The beer poured a surprisingly clear brassy color, with a good, substantial white head. Other than the clarity, nothing out of the ordinary so far for an American wheat.

The aroma,though... wow. This IS out of the ordinary! Very hoppy, with a good deal of citrus. There are still some phenolics apparently sneaking through. I may be imagining things, as I thought they used a standard ale yeast for this, not a hefe yeast. Either way, the smell is very hoppy, and very complex.

The taste is also very unique. There's the "wheatiness" (for lack of a more descriptive word) that gives it a good grany flavor, yet the hoppiness is what takes center stage here. Again, not surprising for a TF beer, but quite so for a wheat, a style usually very bland. Again, what eems to be some clove phenolics appears. I can't quite pick it up enough to determine if it's real or imagined, but I'd swear it's there. Not the banana of a German hefe, but still something that hints at a more complex yeast that any old standard ale yeast. All in all it makes for an interesting and quite good flavor.

The mouthfeel is just past thinnish. That's a good thing for this style. It's a summer type beer, so you want it thinner and more refreshing, not heavy and filling. Just enough body.

Overall, I was really pleasantly surprised by this brew. It's still a wheat, but it's been bastardized and morphed into something so much more. Very much worth the effort to try it, and one I'd recommend to anyone who is a wheat fan, as well as anyone who thinks American wheats have to suck by their very nature.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got to try this out one night on tap, but the others I tried before ruined my palate. Now that I've had a 22 oz. bomber, I can say this is one fo the best wheat or pale ale, let alone wheat pale ale. Very very easy to consume. Nice balance of malts and hops, just one great beer to consume . . . over and over.

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Photo of burnstar
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from Bowling Green. Pours a pretty crystal clear dark gold with nice lively carbonation. Medium white head recedes quickly and leaves some nice lacing on the surface. Aroma is citrusy and herbal hops and sweetness. Taste is sweet grapefruit from the combination of the citrusy hops and sweet malt and wheat. Nice clean lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth and nicely carbonated. Quite drinkable. Very good beer and very unique.

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Photo of yelterdow
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a score... thanks to the EPseja for the rare opportunity to get as close to the tap as possible here in NJ!

From a growler, served in a pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear gold, supporting a two-finger head sustaining well on the relatively light-bodied look of the beer.

Smell- Beautiful fresh Amarillo hops, exhibiting the wonderful aromas of sweet, honeyed grapefruit.

Taste- A good burst of honeyed grapefruit first, then it mellows out with a tangy bitterness in a smooth transition.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Easy and smooth, great for this style. I do prefer the bottled version over the draft, I think the bottle conditioning has a lot to do with the subtle complexities that really make this beer a standout.

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Photo of Osiris9588
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of 22oz bomber came a goldent brew topped with one finger, creamy, but not very stiff, head, the deposited lacing on the side of the pint glass for the duration of its consumption.

Fragrant aroma of malt and hops, lemon and orange, some floral and mineral notes, and touch of sugar.

The flavor offered vibrant citrus, subtle yeast and malts, a slight spice, and a judicious and balanced use of hops.

The mouthfeel is light and rather clean, yet complex with nice movement accross the palate. The balance presence of hops add just a touch of bitterness to round it out, before moving into a semi-sweet finish.

Rates very on on drinkability. It has great flavor and complexity, yet remains gracefully balanced.

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Photo of sloejams
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been wanting to try some Three Floyds for a long time and this was one of the most intriguing I've heard of. Thankfully, this fine summer beer was easy to find in Chicago - so I made the most of it there and even brought some home.

Gumballhead is deescibed by the brewers as, "a highly dry hopped American wheat." It has an interesting color, a lot lighter than what I was expecting - but more accurate to what a wheat looks like. The aroma was sweet, a bit lemony with a dose of hops. The tastes follows that but with a wheat balanced finish.

It's a very unique taste and is quite delicious. The sweetness is different but very welcome. I sure wish I could get this in LA.

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Photo of HoboAGoGo
3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at the brewpub with a mildly cloudy body, orangish deliciousness floated about. The nose was slightly floral, but very hoppy. A good amount of typical wheat smell, which I admit I don't care for too much, but the hops masked the smells I usually don't like in a wheat. Amarillo hop bite on top of a subtle, fruity beer was good, the hops stayed in my mouth to prevent that overly fruity aftertaste in most wheats. Fascinating, a wheat I was able to finish!

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Photo of beckje01
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden slightly seethrough with quater inche head

S- A strong floral smell with a very crisp note

T- Hoppy yet not to much the wheat sstill comes through giving a very nice blend

M- Very active

D- Goes down well for being so hoppy the 22oz if enough for one sitting IMHO.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A golden honey-colored body, topped by a prodigious white head. A candy-like sweet smell really reminds you of gumballs. Go figure! The taste is amazingly different than many IPAs. A citrus/orange/tangerine flavour greets you before the sweetness of the malt hits you. Then a nice bittering hop bite comes through at the end of the swallow. A really interesting beer. Mouthfeel is medium, with low carbonation. Drinkability is fantastic.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A splurge purchase for the "Weiss is Neiss" Madison Style Session.

Pour: crystal clear, orange-golden yellow body under a finger of loose white foam that fades to a spotty skim.

Nose: is this a pale wheat ale or Alpha King? Bright floral hops dominate with a light, dusty wheat note in the finish identifying this as a PWA.

Taste: burly citrus and leafy, herbal hops bristle, over a suggestion of caramel malts. This is an APA with a slightly husky, mildly sour wheat finish.

Feel: light, crisp and zippy on the tongue.

Drinkability/Overall: another hoppy Three Floyds rendition of anotherwise mild style. A cheater for the style, but still tasty and drinkable enough. Now the price tag is a whole other story, I still don't know where they get off charging $8-9 a bottle for this stuff, especially after it was $5 last year.

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Photo of cafemondegar
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a low head that died quickly. The color is somewhere between orange and gold, but I've saw it only in artificial light so I could be off. What strikes you about the smell is the sweetness more than anything else. The smell makes you treat the beer as you would a sweet beverage and you tend to twirl it around the tip of your tongue - and you'll notice the sweetness is there all right. Reminds me of wine made from litchi fruit. Eminently drinkable for its taste, mouthfeel (it does tend to leave your mouth ever so slightly dry) and low abv. This one is another hell of a beer coming out of Three Floyds.

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Photo of johnniemarg
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy golden honey color with a 2-finger offwhite head.

The smell is hoppy citrus and some pine.

The taste is a very smooth and mellow for such a hoppy brew. Very interesting idea hopping up a wheat beer. I can't really make out any flavors other than the hops, but the wheat really smooths this out.

Body is full and typical of a wheat beer.

I'm not a big fan of wheat beers, but this one I enjoy. Thoroughly drinkable. At 4.8% abv, this is a great (all-day) session beer I suppose, but I prefer a stronger brew. Easily the most flavorful beer I've had under 5% abv.

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

thanks to Viggo for sharing a bottle of this one with me.

pour a light yellow colour with a big white head. the head drops slowly but leaves lots of lace.

aroma is hops. pine and a bit of citrus.

taste is a blast of hops, with a nice level of bitterness. pine and grapefruit. bit of apricot. nice malty backbone, especially as it warms a little.

mouthfeel is good. it feels like a pretty light beer, not overly thick or anything.

drinkability is good. relatively low ABV makes it easy to go through the bottle. wish i had a bunch of these.

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Photo of expatsteve
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I should preface this review by saying that I like this beer a lot, but I feel a little conflicted about it as a wheat beer. If it were just a little cheaper, it would probably find a more regular space in my fridge--but not as a wheat beer. Thanks to Golden2wenty1, who provided this as part of Wheat/Weiss night....

Appearance: Light golden amber, with great visibility. 1/4 inch head with heavy suds cover - pours quite nicely. Low viscosity.

Aroma: Grapefruit, lemon and orange - not a hop monster, but that's nonetheless the entirety of the nose.

Taste: This beer is really a good showcase for how well FFF understand hops - nice floral developments, with a fruity grapefruit finish. I initially wrote that the mild wheat flavor is a great canvas to bring the hops out on, but the pine finish clouds out all the interesting flavors that the wheat might bring. If the hops weren't so well done, this beer might strike me as a little one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Light, a little sweet, but the hops in the finish are magnificent. The dry edge to the wheat does fight its way through here.

Drinkability: A great summer beer--one that shows how great hops can be as a cleanser on a hot day. Truly refreshing, as the wheat keeps the beer light and quaffable. But I can't help feeling that this is almost a wheat APA or IPA (the hops profile is about the same as Alpha King), rather than a APWA. I can't make up my mind if this is style-defiance, too much of a hop thing, or perhaps a little cheatery. But never let that get in the way of drinking another exceptional FFF offering.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours with a hazy dark golden color. There is little head, but an interesting lacing pattern left on top of the beer once poured. Taste is phenomenally balanced. A perfect mix of strong hops and malts, with a wonderful kiss of wheat throughout. Maybe its just the name getting to me, but there is also a hint of bubblegum to it, like some hops are known to have. I must say that the wheat is the most impressive part. Its hard for many beers to balance the hops and wheat, but this succeeds wildly.

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Photo of Jaynuze
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thin light head, light golden in color with very little haze.

S: Notes of apples, grafpefruit, and freshly cut grass.

T: Apple, grapefrut, honey, and citrus with a light bubblegum aftertaste. Fresh tasting and very crisp, a satisfying light hearted Heffe.

MF: Full and creamy, dry and fruity.

Overall, this is one nice Heffe. Refreshing for those warm summer days and smooth for those cool summer nights. Believe the hype, this one is a keeper!

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Photo of beveritt
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Medium yellow in color with a hint of copper/red. About a 1 finger head that fell leaving just a hint of white on top of the beer. Crystal clear.

Smell: Smell is pretty mild, some hops, but not really strong.

Taste: At first you get the floral flavors of the finishing hops. A nice, apricot-like flavor. The bitterness of the boiling hops comes in about halfway through the taste. Overall a good balance.

Mouthfeel: Good body. Flavors linger nicely.

Drinkability: Not a hop-bomb like some of the other offerings from Three Floyds. All in all pretty nice. I could stand to have a few pints of this.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up last week. I really enjoyed the Alpha King and Mild Pride and Joy, so when I saw the big bottle of this available in my neck of the woods, I had to give it a shot and see their take on this light style of beer. Sure, it's got the Three Floyd's strong hop presence, but this was still remarkably light. Quite a dangerous combination!

The pour was very nice - beautiful amber hue and a rich, frothy head. The lacing didn't live up to that, but I spent enough time watching things settle that I hardly noticed anyways. The taste is mildy strong and entrancing up front. The cascade-like citrus emerges and stays for the duration, but I could certianly discern some caramel in there too. There's a bit of wheat here, but it's not overt like I thought it would be. The aftertaste was strong too, but once ya have a Three Floyd's, ya learn to appreciate it and don't even realize what a damn good session beer this is! Almost no maltiness here, but seriously, are ya gonna even notice that?

Such a shame that the rest of their offerings, except for the Robert the Bruce Scottish Ale, are not to be found in my beloved Garden State. Sure, this isn't a typical Pale Wheat Ale, since they may as put the "wheat" in small letters on the bottle. It doesn't matter to me - I really enjoyed this and think that Three Floyd's has hit another home run here. Highly recommended!

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy hops. Wheat beer? Unlike any I've tried before.

Enjoyed on an extremely muggy day in Chicago with no A/C.

Poured nearly blood-orange with off-white head (full two fingers) from a 22-oz bomber into a 22-oz pilsener glass.

Smell of citrics, many hops.

Extremely full body, as expected with Three Floyd's. Lots of flavor, a joy to drink, especially on a hot day. My compadres were drinking Rolling Rock and all I could do was laugh. Paid $5 and I'll do it again.

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Photo of Redrover
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown bomber with the crazy label. The beer pours a hazy copper with a dense off-white head. Good lacing.

The nose is of hops. If you blindfolded me, I would guess APA instead of a wheat. Nice citrus notes with a touch of crackers.

The taste is pleasantly bitter with more citrus taste (orange & a touch of lemon) with some noticeable breadiness. Stays solid through out with a bit of sweetness that creeps in late. .

The mouth is crisp and tart. Very drinkable beer. This is not your everyday wheat beer. Seek it out!

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Photo of Generik420
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Three Floyd's brewpub and was quite impressed. I was told they use Amarillo hops in this wheat and that is one of the reasons I was very interested in trying it out. While technically it is an American wheat ale, it is unlike any other I have ever had. I tend to dislike standard American wheat ales finding them to be very bland and definitely needing the lemon wedge they are served with. This beer destroyed that stereotype. The amarillo hop addition gives this beer quite a bit of flavor. The hops have a citrusy, similar to grapefruit flavor to go along with their bite and it really makes quite an impression when drinking Gumballhead. I can find this beer in 22oz bottles, but most liquor stores want $6 / bottle, and unfortunately I just can't justify spending that kind of money. Great beer, but the limited production quantities keeps the price a little too high.

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Photo of smurphy77
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Truly innovative, which is a rarity these days. Perfect blend of two perfectly good styles to creat a fantastic, original beer.

22oz bottle pours a golden color. Hoppy flavor/aroma sings alongside the wheat flavors without drowning them out. Wish I could find this one again, I only saw it once (when I had it).

A must try.

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Photo of cbl2
3.42/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6/15/2005 $6.99 22 oz. 4.80% No best by date.


Pours a crystal clear pale yellow with moderate carbonation and a very thin white head on top.


Fresh citrusy hops predominate here with a mild undertone of banana.


Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasant, but IMO this beer is overly hopped, leading to a somewhat astringent bitterness that masks the subtle nuances of the wheat beer. This is a blend between an IPA and a wheat, and it does a disservice to both.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours gold to straw in color with a decent white head that recedes quickly. Although the bottle reads bottle conditioned, it looks pretty clear to me. The smell is distinctive three floyds with big citrusy hops. There is some grapefruit and sweet peach aroma. Taste is also quite hoppy with the wheat adding a little sweetness to the orange and peach flavors. The wheat is barely discernible behind the citrusy hops, maybe just a little nutty flavor. A little spiciness and dryness in the finish, light to medium body. This one definitely doesn'y typify the style category, more like a pale ale maybe even an ipa, but a very good and highly drinkable beer.

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,785 ratings.
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