Brett Saxon Talks Whiskey


By Richard Thomas

Brett Saxon

Brett Saxon
(Credit: Bryan Bruchman)

Whiskey and entertainers, especially musicians, is becoming a staple here at The Whiskey Reviewer, and the lesson we’ve learned about performers is to have no expectations when it comes to taste. Take Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Brett Saxon, who hasn’t got much interest in Scotch, but loves just about everything else under the whisk(e)y umbrella, including moonshine.

RT: Running down your likes, Scotch and scotchy stuff (like Japanese whisky) wasn’t on it. Just about everything else was, but not that. Is there something about the Caledonian whisky that turns you off?

BS: I think it’s something that’ll possibly grow on me, but right now I’m not into the peatiness of the Caledonian Whisky. For some reason I prefer the burn rather than the smoke. Sour Mash I’m warming up to though. I enjoy the Lovell Bros Georgia Sour Mash. It has a nice balance between sweet and smokey.

RT: Now one of the things you do like is moonshine, which is still a bit of an uncommon preference. How did you get into white lightning?

BS: I have some extended family in Portland, TN  and they have been making their own for a while. So during holidays there are always mason jars full with White Lightning and Apple Pie flavored moonshine going around.  

RT: We’re just past St. Patrick’s Day. Were you enjoying the holiday with a little Irish whiskey?

BS: I was! My go-to is Powers. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown accustom to it while bartending, but now I prefer it over all the others.

RT: As an artist, do you ever need a little whiskey. Say as a creative lubricant, or perhaps as a balm for stage jitters?

BS: Never for the writing process, I like to keep a clear head for that. My mind takes over enough as it is. I’ll enjoy a little whiskey before a show, not so much as a balm, but just because I enjoy it.

Through careful experimentation I have noticed is that if I’m drinking whiskey before a show it tends to be more of a chill show compared to more of an aggressive show if I’m drinking tequila before.  

RT: You’re based in Brooklyn, so what are your favorite local whiskey watering holes?

BS: Sidecar is my go to. They do some in-house barrel aging that they use for their Sidecar cocktails and are wonderful.

My other go to is Char No. 4.

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