One of the undercurrents with GrandTen and Privateer was a connection to history to the current distillery space, familial links to old distillers, and/or the area as a once active spirits producer. Here, one of the two owners of Turkey Shore, Mathew Perry, took it a step further by going to college as a history major and making a career out of being a history teacher before deciding to become a distiller. Mat and the other owner, Evan Parker, are childhood friends and they grew up on the same street, Turkey Shore Road. Between their two houses on the shore of the Ipswich river are the remnants of a late 18th to early 19th century rum distillery run by John Heard including the wharf where ships docked and a low grade slope to transport barrels of molasses off ships and into the distillery. Once the idea to open a micro-distillery came about, they took an interest in their childhood neighborhood's history. The two took some time to research the layout of the old distillery and chose equipment to mimic what this old distillery had.
For the fermentation, Turkey Shore uses pure molasses to recreate the historic rums back when sugar would have been too expensive to use. As for a yeast strain, they opted for a rhum agricole one from the French isles based off of the flavor profiles they achieved. One down side of using a Caribbean yeast is that instead of the 60-70°F ferments with other yeasts, they need to heat and maintain the molasses wash at 90°F to keep the yeast happy. For aging, the rum is stored in new 15 gallon barrels for 6-12 months. Since the barrels are all new and sourced from the same cooperage, blending in easier since there is less barrel-to-barrel variation. Blends are a combination of 8-9 barrels with some newer ones for spice notes and some older ones for more mellow flavors.
Mat summed up their operation by comparing it to Nantucket Nectar's Tom and Tom; they are two friends producing a product. And here, they are trying to recreate something that was lost to the region.