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New Glenrinnes Distillery launches Eight Lands

New Speyside distillery, Glenrinnes, has opened and launched its Eight Lands organic gin and vodka brand. The distillery has committed to using Speyside spring water and 100 per cent organic ingredients.

To launch, the Eight Lands brand will carry one gin expression — Eight Lands Organic Speyside Gin — and an a vodka — Eight Lands Organic Speyside Vodka.

The purpose-built 5,400sq/ft distillery has been developed by the father and stepson team of Alasdair Locke and Alex Christou. The process was started three years ago, with botanical surveys and spring flow rates as part of a feasibility study that helped the family better understand what they might be able to achieve and where on the family estate a distillery would be best sited. Alex is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business.

Despite being situated in Speyside, currently there are no plans to produce a whisky, with Alex and his team insisting that they will focus on what they are passionate about: making beautiful quality white spirits.

Alex comments: “I genuinely believe that we have created something special with our organic vodka and gin, and I’m really proud of the team at the distillery for the hard work and passion that they have put into this. We have ambitious plans to build the Eight Lands brand globally in the months ahead and I know that my family and our production team are incredibly excited about sharing our spirits with both the UK and other markets.”

Eight Lands spirits are made using organic ingredients, including some botanicals that grow naturally on the estate. Both spirits are created using the Speyside spring water that flows past the distillery, from the lower slopes of the Ben Rinnes mountain itself.

The bespoke distillery equipment – including the 1,000 litre pot still “Rebecca” (named after Alex’s wife) and the two ten-plate rectifying columns – has been built by local specialists to provide flexibility, allowing the production team opportunity for future experimentation with other expressions and techniques.

The team is made up of operations manager, Meeghan Murdoch, and distiller, Katrina Stewart. Meeghan joined the business at the beginning of 2018 and brings more than 25 years of international drinks industry experience with her on both the production and sales side, including brewing, wine making and distilling. By contrast, this is Katrina’s first full-time distillery role since completing an MSc in Brewing and Distilling from Heriott Watt University. However, her background as a chemical engineer has imbued her with a deep understanding of the precision processes and health and safety principles that are central to Glenrinnes Distillery.

The estate’s farming activities have been wholly organic since 2001, driven by Alex’s mother Kathy and a simple belief that less chemicals in the food chain is better. This ethos stands behind the decision to create Eight Lands spirits from 100 per cent organic ingredients and their accreditation ensures that there are high levels of traceability from grain to glass.

Glenrinnes Distillery is open for tours and tastings with the distillery team. The two core products: Eight Lands Organic Speyside Gin (RRP £39.00) and Eight Lands Organic Speyside Vodka (RRP £37.00) are available directly from the Distillery and online at

Both products will be available from from late June, as well various retailers, bars and restaurants.   

The Drinks Report's specialist sister title, Gin Magazine, will be covering the launch of Glenrinnes Distillery in its eighth issue, due to land in August 2019. Find out more at

11 June 2019 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editor