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Profile: Oakbank celebrates a decade of success

Oakbank Products Ltd is celebrating ten years in the drinks industry, and is looking to the worldwide range of whisky, gin, and rum brands to consider their services as they look toward the next ten years. 

Oakbank specialises in dipping wax, providing services for brands looking to dip their bottles or apply a brand enhancing seal to their packaging. Their dipping wax is found on some of the rarest whisky bottles in existence, including Glenfiddich 50-year-old, The Macallan in Lalique and The Ardbeg. 

In 2009, Thomas Corbett and Ian Cuthbertson began to work on the development of a new sealing wax that would be more durable and not crack or crumble after application. In 2012, as the business was beginning to grow and new clients were appearing, Pauline Corbett came on board to handle finances, and Oakbank Products Limited was established in 2013, 

Following Ian’s death in 2014, his son Roddy became a partner in the business. The company continued to flourish, building valuable and strong relationships with clients, including Glenmorangie, Sipsmith, Edrington and Chivas Brothers to name just a few. 

A decade of success has not been without its challenges. Like many businesses, the pandemic was particularly hard, with the terrible loss of Pauline Corbett early on during the lockdowns. 

While younger members of the family have now chosen to follow their own paths, the family tradition of the business is still being honoured. Tam Corbett has brought in his brother Bill to oversee the company’s office and administrative work, while his son Ian is managing the production process. 

The personability of everyone involved at Oakbank is why they have thrived across the last ten years. There has always been a large emphasis based on keeping the family feel of the company even as it grows, to ensure that traditions are kept in place and honoured as times goes on.  

The wax itself is supplied around the world, with Oakbank’s extensive list of clients reaching out across Europe, South America, The Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean. While the brand’s speciality is in the drinks industry, they have also supplied perfumeries and artisan food producers. 

Oakbank works with some of the most prestigious brands in the drinks industry including the following list of esteemed clients: 

  • Edrington 
  • Chivas Brothers 
  • Dewar’s 
  • The Macallan 
  • Chase Distillery 
  • Burlington Bottling 
  • Tomatin 
  • Diageo 
  • ShortCross 
  • Glenfiddich 
  • William Grant & Sons 
  • Sipsmith 

Despite such as an expansive range of whisky partners, Oakbank are looking to venture further into the rum and gin markets. More information on contacting the team at Oakbank can be found at the bottom. 

While some of Oakbank’s client list includes some of the most premium names in the drinks industry, they still supply many craft distillers, too, helping them to develop their products. 

Oakbank Products has also been making noise in the drink's awards sphere over the most recent months. They sponsored the World’s Best Old Tom Gin at the 2023 World Gin Awards earlier this year, held at the Waldorf Astoria in London. The category was won by Swedish gin Herno, with Tam Corbett honoured to present other awards and pose for pictures.

For the future Oakbank intends to build on the elements that have already provided them success in the last decade. The brand wants to continue to branch out across the drinks industry, while keeping a large presence within the whisky market, and maintaining its family traditions and familiarity.  

What do you think differentiates the products you design from others on the market?

We still believe that our wax is the premier bottle sealing wax in the market due to the hand-crafted attention we provide. We feel that artisanry, quality and the distinctive touch are the reasons Oakbank are the choice of distilling’s biggest brands. 

Describe how you would execute a design brief from a drink's producer 
The vast majority of work we perform for clients is bespoke work. A client can come to us with a pantone number for us to match to, once we produce a wax in this colour, we store the details, and the colour is exclusive to this person or company. Sometimes, we receive enquiries with no pantone information, with a situation like this, we simply ask for a label or colour swatch the client would like the wax to match. Discretion is also implied as many of these colour developments are part of a New Product Development protocol. 

How important do you think the wax and work you produce on site for prestigious limited bottling is to the success of a product and why?

Bottle sealing wax adds a prestigious and exclusive look to a product. It can be hand dipped and hand stamped with the company logo, crest, or other information, which results in an aesthetically pleasing product. Depending on colour choice, our wax can add a warm, rustic, traditional look to a bottle, or a modern, sleek look with the inclusion of metallic colours. 

Where and how do you see future growth for your business?

While we feel we are well established in the Whisky industry, we would like to increase our client base in Gin and Rum markets. We also need to be agile to opportunities in whisky, as the target market includes the younger generation. We feel we can help enhance a more lively and vibrant appearance for Gin/Rum and whisky products.  

We also feel that producer's may want to reduce secondary packaging but still want to project the quality and prestige of their brand, then a wax-sealed cork fills that requirement. 

We have made the bottle sealing wax more accessible to larger production runs, as opposed to short runs and limited editions. 

What new projects can we look forward to seeing on shelf in 2023?

Working with our suppliers to increase sustainability of waxes we use…. reducing/eliminating levels of paraffin. Carbon Offsetting by planting trees/sponsoring beehives. Switched energy supplier to a “green” supply 60% wind 40% solar. 

Visit here to register interest in Oakbank, and to also sign up for alerts on the launch of their new website.

11 September 2023 - Bradley Weir