Property magnate Donald Trump has gone to war with one of the world’s largest whisky companies after it sponsored an award given to an arch critic of his controversial Scottish golf course.
The Guardian reports that Trump has banned every brand of whisky sold by William Grant & Sons from his resorts and hotels after Michael Forbes, the closest neighbor to his golf development, was voted Top Scot in a ceremony sponsored by the distiller’s leading brand, Glenfiddich.
Forbes has been a major Scottish thorn in Trump’s side, one of a group of stubborn farmers who dared battle him over what they saw as his lack of regard for the environment and local concerns.
The award was based on a public vote, and Forbes beat out the Olympic tennis gold medalist and US Open winner. Trump called the decision “an insult to both Andy Murray and Scotland itself.”
Trump claimed that William Grant & Sons, which sold more than US$1.4 billion worth of spirits this year and owns several of the world’s most popular whiskies, including Grant’s, was jealous of his own in-house single malt whisky brand.
“Glenfiddich is upset that we created our own single malt whisky using another distillery, which offers far greater products. People at our clubs do not ask for Glenfiddich, and I make a pledge that no Trump property will ever do business with Glenfiddich or William Grant & Sons.
“I hereby call for a boycott on drinking Glenfiddich products, because there is no way a result such as this could have been made by the Scottish people.”
After suggesting that the voting for Forbes had been fixed by “a small group of detractors” casting multiple votes, Trump pompously prattled on: “Glenfiddich’s choice of Michael Forbes as Top Scot will go down as one of the great jokes ever played on the Scottish people and is a terrible embarrassment to Scotland.”
William Grant & Sons gave short shrift to Trump’s criticisms, insisting it had nothing to do with the voting for the award, which Glenfiddich has sponsored for 15 years.
“Top Scot is a totally open category in which the people of Scotland can vote for whomsoever they choose, and Glenfiddich has no influence on this decision. [The] Top Scot may be one of that year’s category nominees or may come from any walk of life. The person receiving the greatest number of votes, cast by the people of Scotland, wins the award.”
It added: “In the history of these awards, we are not aware of the Top Scot award causing any offense or upset to anyone, and it is not our intention to do so now. These awards were set up to give the people of Scotland a vote, and we must respect their decision.”