Alasdair Locke launches Speyside spirits firm

Alasdair Locke and his stepson Alex Christou have developed the family-owned distillery. Picture: Contributed
Alasdair Locke and his stepson Alex Christou have developed the family-owned distillery. Picture: Contributed
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A spirits venture driven in part by high-profile oil entrepreneur Alasdair Locke is launching with a vodka and a gin – also harbouring ambitious export plans.

Eight Lands says it is “going against the grain” to bring a new taste to Speyside by focusing exclusively on white spirits distilled and bottled at the purpose-built, 5,400 square foot Glenrinnes Distillery in the area.

The development of the family-owned distillery has been driven by Locke and his stepson Alex Christou, who is leading the development, production, and day-to-day running of the business – and they are launching with Eight Lands Organic Speyside Vodka and Organic Speyside Gin.

Making spirits was originally identified as a way to diversify their organic farming estate and capitalise on access to fresh water springs.

The pair’s aim, backed by a £4 million investment, is to produce a brand recognised internationally for high-quality white spirits.

Furthermore, it marks the second independent project that they have worked on together since 2015 – the other being property-development in Edinburgh.

Christou said: “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.”

He and his team are in fact planning to take Eight Lands to various overseas markets within the next 12 months and are already looking at opportunities in Canada, South East Asia, and a number of European territories.

Glenrinnes Distillery has been built on a greenfield site midway between Dufftown and Glenlivet, situated on the family estate and deliberately located near a freshwater spring. It is also billed as being able to “comfortably” produce 240,000 70cl bottles a year.