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Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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5,884 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,884 |  Reviews: 1,566
Photo of GreenWBush
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 22oz bobmber graced with some interesting artwork of a punk ass cat or something like that. You can certainly count on 3F for interesting labels. Pours out a bright orange color, with just a hint of haze and wisps of swirling white head. Nose is shockingly hoppy for a wheat beer, smelling like a citrus orchard at picking time. No hint of bananas here. Slight wheatiness is also noticeable in the aroma. Very clean flavor, lightly wheaty and loaded with amarillo hop flavor. Highly bitter towards the finish, and just a bit lemony and sweet. Definitely different, nearly perfectly so. Body is medium but light enough to go down very easily, this is an eminently drinkable summer beer. Quite complex for a wheat beer, 3F does an excelent job with the hops as usual...mmmm, want more....

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bomber pours a hazy golden/orange color with a thin white head. The head disappeared quickly. There was a great amount of lace on the glass. What a smell! Huge notes of pine and citrus. Sort of like a grapefruit crossed with a Christmas tree! On closer inspection, it almost smells like a handful of what else, gumballs.The taste begins very briefly with a good wheat sourness, however that is quickly interrupted by hops, hops and more hops! Again, grapefruit and pine flavored hops with a great, but not overwhelming amount of bitterness. Several times, I swear I could faintly taste crunchberries. This is a wheat beer? Oh yes, 3 Floyds means hops. Light to medium body with good amount of carbonation. Overall, wow! I would certainly have another. I would never have thought that a wheat ale would be this intense, but it is and it works great. This is a fantastic beer.

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Photo of Foxman
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a hazy, bubbly, glimmering golden yellow. A prompt two fingers of head expands, then dwindles finally to a fine frothy vellum. Stacked tiers of lacing descend down the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a fruity citrus spruce perfume that, on quick whiff, denotes the beer's name, especially in atndem with the credible grain sweetness. Earthy hints of berry and banana round things out nicely.

A sip brings an artfully modulated wheat sweetness, grainy and mildy baked. the notable Amarillo signature brings a gently fruity, airy evergreen piquance, but in a decidedly mellow manner. Dry citrus, banana, and apple do-si-do about the middle. A doughy yeast character settles across the palate toward the end before a blended bittersweetness lingers coolly at the finish. Balanced, crisp and lively, everything combines to come off as bold and refreshing.

A tad shy of medium bodied, the healthy grain presence and carbonation enliven the palate and linger glowingly on the tongue.

It's got a big lotta wheat with a raft of Amarillo to match, and they balance and blend to offer up loads of sassy refreshment. Earthy and fruity and spicy, its playfulness captures the imagination, as the tidier parts pull together to deliver a big sum total, and that in turn yields some truly impressive drinkability. If the name and the label put a grin on your face, then the beer itself will turn that grin in to one full, satisfied smile.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz. bomber with some cool-looking hand-drawn graphics (www.skingraftrecords.com) on the label.

Appearance: Poured a hazy dull golden-yellow in color. Thin, tight layer of bone-white head sits atop the beer. Small amounts of patchy lace on the glass.

Smell: Fantastic mixture of piney citrus hops mixed with a very "wheaty" aroma, along with a dash of peppery spice.

Taste: A hopped-up, spicy wheat beer! Excellent! Hops hit first and are followed with a spicy, peppery middle, and finishes with a bit of pine sap-bready wheatness that leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste. Stellar.

Mouthfeel: Ever so slightly on the thin side. Not as fizzy as expected. Low-medium body.

Drinkability: My new summer beer! Supremely quaffable. Low ABV means that several bombers can disappear during a hot Richmond day.

Notes: What a great combination. Take a wheat beer, send it to Allagash for an infusion of pepper and spices, and finish it at a west-coast brewery for hop infusion.

At $2.75 per bomber (for now, at least), I will load up the fridge for the coming months. Kudos to 3F for another winner!

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Minimal white head sits atop this brownish golden, straw colored beer.
Pleasing aroma of grassy hops, fruit, lemon, and malt underneath all that.

Taste shows a light and easy drinking, yet flavorful and crisp beer. Refreshing. Big grassy hop presence. Very fruity, especially lemon. Crisp and slightly tart. Wheat and light malt backbone are secondary to the hops and fruit character.

Good mouthfeel and body for the lower ABV.
This is a true session beer and summer refresher. Light with a low ABV, yet flavorful and quite enjoyable.

Overall, this is one of the better American style wheat beers out there.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Honey golden hue a huge massive off white cream in color big chunky mountainous texture very resilient leaves heavy streaks of random lacing. Aroma: Amazing absolutely one of the most pleasant and alluring hop profiles I've ever come across from an American wheat ale, who could have guessed that. Deep buttery pinecone scented hops as the label describes "loads of Amarillo hops" with a touch of banana ester, man this hop profile is kickin'. Taste: Heavenly, layer upon layer of this orgy of wheat, vanilla, and banana along with such a generous helping of Amarillo hops. Really hoppy flavored yet not that bitter extremely balanced, it's easy to say there's no other beer drinking experience like this out there. Mouthfeel: Creamy silky yet rediculously smooth going down, medium bodied with an even carbonation, a pure hop nectar. Drinkability: A dream come true for people who love both hoppy beers and wheat infused ales. If you don't like American wheats give this a try nothing like any other example of the style. Let me thank CRJMellor for this beauty I've been salivating to try this one.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear golden color with a one-finger slightly off-white head and lots of bubbly effervescence.
Aroma of pine, grapefruit, hint of clove and some lemon.
Flavor is a heavy dose of wheat, cut grass, hay, some lmeony yeast and pale malt also involved.
Mouthfeel is slightly tart and tangy with some sweetness and an identifiable biter finish.
Drinkability is enormously high. This one could go down my gullet all night.

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Photo of Skidz
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a light yellow and sits a golden amber in the glass with a fluffy white head on top.

Smells of hops, tons of hops. Citrus (Grapefruit, lemon and orange) come through as well. It's a hophead's dream right here.

Tastes of wheat and loads of hops. Coming through the initial bitterness are a light lemon zest, a bit of grassiness and a nice floweriness. It gives you the hops and doesn't dance around it. The finish is a bit weak IMO, as it just trails off without leaving you anything to taste besides bitter.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth with moderate carbonation. The medium body is packed full of hops and will give anyone craving hops their fix.

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Photo of Wildman
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Okay, we in Columbus finally got this brew, and as is often the case with Three Floyds, I am somewhat confused, if pleasantly. This beer poured a light, clear golden color and fomred a small off white head the coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of hops, citrus, caramel, some hint of pine and more hops. A flavor of hops, citrus, pine and more hops. The finish was bittersweet and refreshing. As you can see by my review, I was not expecting such hop influence in a supposedly wheat beer. But like so many other American craft brewers, Three Floyds continues to surprise me.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Will it never end? Why is ones of the best breweries in ths US so far away from me, with no real accounts in the tri-state area? So after the excellent dreadnaught, the awesome alpha klaus, the hoppy alpha king, and the mind-blowing dark lord, we have this brew, the latest in three floyds constantly expanding portfolio of bomber bottled insanities.

This is a slightly cloudy golden orange colour with a nice head of white foam that lasts and lasts. The aromas are of gumballs, other german yeast notes (such as bananas, cloves, grapes, etc...), fresh citrus hops, and lovely bready malts. The taste is absolutely awesome as this is a very flavorful blend of strong hopping and delicate yeast play. At 4.8% this beer is one of the most complex wheat beers I have ever had! The mouthfeel is creamy and sharp and the drinkability is stellar! FFF's does it again!

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Photo of jlh8643
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear straw gold with a tight white head that sits on top of a clear straw colored brew. The amarillo aroma is just wonderful. A citrisy, spicy flavor accompanies a grainy maltiness. The finish is a little dry and crisp with the amarillo featured in the end. A great warm weather drinker.

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Photo of ark57
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a hazy orange-gold with a head that dissipates fast. The head is a dissappointment for a wheat beer, but I'll get over it. The aroma is grainy with some cirtus and pine and a wheat tinge. The crisp body does not have much malt taste, but some sweet breadiness is detectable and there is also a touch of bubblegum. The hops fesh hop flavors are excellent. There is lemon/grapefruit juiciness and some pine. It is refreshing and crisp with a clean finish.

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Photo of cokes
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brass hued under a short stack of ivory.
The nose is all 'Rillos. Piney, and resinous with uplifting citric elements.
Taste is more of the same. Much less a wheat beer and much more an APA featuring the Amarillos. Malt is largely undiscovered. Lightly wheaty and plain, if slightly spicy and almost rye-like. Though far from bitter, the showcase is certainly the hops. Bright and green. Pine cones laced with grapefruit juice and resin.
Light-medium bodied and drinkable in huge quantities.
I like it, and almost love it. But it fails to define any style. However, it does define that Amarillos kick ass, no matter how or where they are used.
If this was $6 for a 6pack, as opposed to a single bomber, I'd drink a whole shitload of it during the summer. But as is, it seems like a rather rotten deal, aside from getting to try it.

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

More crazy labels from this brewery. If their beers weren't so damn good, I'd think that the labels were marketing gimmicks meant to increase sales in the face of a lackluster product.

This label has the cartoon cat "Gumballhead" smoking a cigarette and riding a motorcycle. For some reason the cat reminds me of Buster Poindexter.

The beer pours a deep brassy amber with a little bit of haze. The head is off-white and sticks to the glass.

It does not smell like any other Hefe I've had. Hop aroma is strong and there may be a hint of bubblegum in there too (or I'm just being influenced by the name). The smell is really appealing. The label says they are using Amarillo hops.

Taste is light for a 3 floyds, but probably bigger than many other wheat beers. Again, I really can't compare this to other Hefe beers because it is so dissimilar to others I've had. The hops are definitely there along with a slight bit of citrus on the finish. No clove, no banana here. Not at all typical in my book, but your experience may differ.

Mouthfeel is slightly oily and the beer goes down smooth with not much of a carbonation feeling. Smooth and creamy like a wheat is, though.

This is a great drinking beer, and at 4.8%, what a great session beer it makes.

 1,267 characters

Photo of beerluvr
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid white head, pretty much clear light golden liquid with some yeast particles floating about. Wonderful fresh, distinctly Amarillo hop nose...spicy and tempting. Light body with subtle bread notes and more Amarillos dominating the palate along with citrusy flavors. Finshes light and extremely drinkable...though kinda off-style, drinks more like a nice hoppy pale ale, but great all the same.
Thanks to jackndan/BIF 6 for the bomber!

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Photo of garthwaite
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I said god damn, god damn. What have we here? It's a wheat & it is spectacular. Poured this bad boy into a glass & it was cloudy, straw colored, & held a perfect white bubbly head. Holy crap - the aroma is a regular thing of beauty. When 3 Floyd's writes that they add "a boatload of amarillo hops" on the bottle's label - they are telling the truth. Every sip is better than the one before it. Hops are everywhere, but the wheat flavor is still there to keep this brew clean & refreshing. The hop profile is wonderful - floral & citrus fruit (lemon, orange, grapefruit). Drinkability is absurd. If possible, I would drink this for breakfast, lunch, & dinner for the months of April through August for the rest of my life. To quote andre 3000, "I think I'm in love again...".

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Photo of ngandhi
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

American wheat beer is supposed to suck. Wheat tastes like crap -- cut out the flavorful hops, the big, fat, estery yeast, and you're left with liquid bread. Not in the good way we think of beer as nourishing and complete, but literally like a loaf of bread tossed in the blender with some water.

I don't see why we should call this a hefe, much less judge it by those standards. What's wild about this beer is that there's no yeast in suspension -- it's as clear as Miller Lite and brillantly so. Yet, the aroma and flavor profile are very hefe -- subtle notes of bubblegum and phenols. The bubblegum, however, is laced with oranges, a spot of lemon, and flowers, straight from the powdery lupulin that is the Amarillo hop. And, staying true to its name, a gentle wheat graininess at the end gives us the perception of phenols. Without more yeast, however, there's no way this could have that great creamy body of a true hefe. Unless, of course, the malt is just viscous enough to contribute body without any added sweetness. It's as if the Floyds said "Yeah, we know American yeasts make boring wheat beers -- but WE don't make boring beer."

The hops are fresh, fresh as the morning dew, yet never intrusive. But there's no denying that this is an Amarillo bomb and one that, 22 ounces later, becomes very one-dimensional. I was trying to pinpoint the flavor and recalled tasting hops fresh out of the bag when I first started brewing. These Amarillos are even fresher -- on the palette they are a combination of taste and smell -- a full sensory experience. This is all the stuff of great -- truly great -- American pale ale supplanted with wheat and made none the worse for wear.

So liquid and juicy up front like a cask IPA; so tame yet full of flavor from the Amarillo hops.

3Floyds has once again redefined a style and this time it is the American wheat: do not be afraid of hops; they, too, may be gentle. And the glory has come to us.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed dark golden/ light amber appearance. Thin dirty white head leaves some ample lace. The first thing that hits my nose is that sweet, resiny, canabis-like aroma that I love so much. All about the 'Rillos. But there's also a little spiciness to the nose and a little wheat "tang." Now this is my kind of an "American Wheat." The pine sap, burnt citric tones of the hops blend with some bubblegum esters and wheat spiciness to create one enjoyable beer. The dichotomy of the lingering sweet bubblegum and bitter 'rillos makes for a nice interplay. Nicely carbonated and about medium-full in body. I'm liking 3 Floyd's more and more by the minute (now that I'm not tasting the contract brewed stuff).

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hazy, deep amber-orange body reveals golden highlights at the base of the glass and teems with tiny effervescent bubbles. The off-white head is full and densely creamy; and displays excellent retention and leaves wide swatches of lacing about the glass. The nose is loaded with bright, fresh hops that are citrusy and lightly spicy with hints of pine over a delicately sweet, wheatish malt. The body is medium; and its lightly zesty effervescence leaves a lingering tingle on the front of the tongue as the rest of the beer fades smoothly away with a light creaminess. The hops displayed in the nose are clearly carried over into the flavor, dominating upfront but blending most exquisitely across the middle in a wash of sweetish, wheat-accented malt. The bitterness is held in check as it should be (@20 IBU's perhaps); yet the hop aromas and flavors shine! It finishes with some lingering malt sugar and piney and spicy hops that fade to a dull residual bitterness by the time you're ready for another sip. An extraordinary American wheat that's well worth seeking out.

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden amber with a generous fluffy white head. Lots of retention and lacing.

Smells a bit estery and hoppy.

Starts off with some nice pale/caramel malt that immediately switches over to a almost honey like taste. Bits of bread and biscuit Moderate in body. Very clean. Finishes with a nicely piney/grassy hop finish. Not harsh in the least. Exemplary for the style.

Nice grainy semi-chewy texture to the body.

What's not to like? This is what others should be doing with their wheat beer. Goes great with pizza, but what doesn't?

Props to cretemixer for delivering this to my door.

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Photo of abents
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an golden amber with a nice white head and good lacing. Smells overwhelmingly of citrus fruits. Lemons and a sweet swide round out the smells. Taste is nice. Starts with a nice citrusy punch that comes around with a sweeter malty finish. The wheat in here is slightly masked by overwhelming hops flavors. It's a very well rounded drinkable beer and I should have assumed an overhopped Hefe from 3floyds. It's a very interesting brew to say the least. It's medium bodied a pretty good ammount of carbonation, but it just goes down so damn smooth. It's crazy. Great beer by a great brewery.

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Photo of Jables
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy copper with a thin white head. Lacing is leaving thick bands on my glass.

Smell is very amarillo dominated. I thought for a second that I was sticking my face in a box of Fruity Pebbles, mmmm.

And the taste, holy crap is that stuff good. It's hop heavy with just tons of sweet smooth amarillos, but the balance is there most definitely. Citrus flavors move in and out on the tongue at different times.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and that sets it head and shoulders above all the other American wheat beers.

Drinkability is insane, one bottle was not enough, it is so good I and low abv and smoothness makes me just want to drink this all afternoon on the back porch. Summer beer of the year this year for sure!

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Photo of faernt
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

OK...I admit it....I bought this beer because I liked the label. After I bought it I read the label and Oh Crap it's an American Wheat which I have never had much luck with. Well it was one stupid beer choice and it is a Three Floyds which so many people like alot. I've found their beers soapy (except for the Rabid Rabbit which was fine) so time to drink.

It pours somewhat dark for a wheat. Then the smell...Amarillo hops eh? These smell just like the mystery vine growing in my backyard. I wondered what that was. The hops smell is large....really large. The thing about aroma hops and bittering hops comes to mind and this is all about aroma. A little head goes to a ring. Lace is random and somewhat slight.

Then I taste it and it's sweet like a Maibock but the nose (which is completely different) influences my taste /smell perceptastions. This beer is tense. It doesn't choose between smell and taste.

It has the mouthfeel of a Maibock. Slightly sticky and sweet but that hop thing keeps going on. It's like drinking coffee and whiskey but separately and close together (separately good). This is one thing though....
Very good and very drinkable.

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Photo of moulefrite
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this stuff! Damned, if Oberon is in the same league. Faaagett about it! This one through me for a loop for sure. I thought it would be more of a Belgium White ale, and what I found was a beer with a very unique and distinct persona! The beer pours a wonderful, deep golden, and has none of the hazey yeast I love in the style. This beer throws style out the window. The head is a clean, creamy, buttery white. Aromas are super fresh and hop focused. An orange malt aroma adds an initial summery feel, and once in the mouth the beer explodes with freshness. Ahhh, what a flavor! Spicy, citrusy, hoppy, grainy, smooth and again ohh so fresh. As the beer finishes one could swear that all the complexities of this beer combine to actually offer the taster the flavor of a gumball...I swear it!! The flavor of the sweet shell, the tang of the fruity gumball, and the bitter of the gum itself. This is a one of a kind drink! Cool stuff

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,884 ratings
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