Donald Trump Fumes in Scotland Whisky Spat
The TV personality wants his hotels to boycott the distiller of Glenfiddich after it gave an award to a critic of Trump's plans for a golfing complex in Scotland.
LONDON – Donald Trump is making headlines in the U.K. after getting into a beef with one of the world's largest whisky companies over an awards' recipient.
Trump, according to reports in The Guardian and The Scotsman newspaper, has called for a ban on whisky sold by William Grant & Sons from his resorts and hotels.
The billionaire's stance comes after Michael Forbes, a resident who vehemently campaigned and objected to Trump's controversial Scottish golf course in Aberdeenshire, was voted "Top Scot" in a ceremony sponsored by the distiller's leading brand, Glenfiddich.
Forbes secured the award last week in a public vote beating out the challenge of the Olympic tennis gold medalist and U.S. Open winner Andy Murray.
Trump said that decision was "an insult to both Andy Murray and Scotland itself."
Trump also claimed that William Grant & Sons was jealous of his own in-house single malt whisky brand.
Grant's surpassed the £1 billion ($1.6 billion) sales barrier in 2012 and is a big advertising sponsor of television drama on commercial network ITV.
Trump tweeted: "Glenfiddich should be ashamed of themselves for granting this award to Forbes, just for the sake of publicity."
He said the whisky manufacturer was "upset that we created our own single malt whisky using another distillery, which offers far greater products."
In what is being billed in Scotland as a battle of the billionaires, Trump made a public pledge that no Trump property "will ever do business with Glenfiddich or William Grant & Sons."
William Grant & Sons played down Trump's outbursts saying it has nothing to do with the voting for the award, which Glenfiddich has sponsored for 15 years.
"We understand that there may have been some confusion and misunderstanding concerning the structure and running of the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards," the firm said in a statement.
"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."
Forbes has proven to be a thorn in Trump's side ever since the U.S. property magnate and The Apprentice star announced plans for a golfing complex in Northern Scotland.