Over the years, there have been many retailers who have made the jump to cigar brand owners: while Dion Giolito of Illusione may be one of the more known, that list also includes brands such as 7-20-4, Artesano del Tobacco, Crux, Powstanie and RoMa Craft Tobac.

Glendale, Ariz.-based Fine Ash Cigars is one of the latest retailers to join that list by releasing the Ceniza Fina Corojo, Spanish for fine ash. The blend is made up of an Ecuadorian corojo wrapper covering a Mexican binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic—criollo 98, HVA, piloto cubano—and Jalapa, Nicaragua.

The Ceniza Fina Corojo debuted in three vitolas, each packaged in 20-count boxes:

  • Ceniza Fina Corojo Corona Gorda (6 x 46) — $9.50 (Box of 20, $190)
  • Ceniza Fina Corojo Robusto (5 x 50) — $10 (Box of 20, $200)
  • Ceniza Fina Corojo Toro (6 x 50) — $10.50 (Box of 20, $210)

“We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Hostos on Ceniza Fina,” said Sam and Rosie Lopez, owners of Fine Ash and Ceniza Fina, in a press release. “This partnership is the result of our friendship and shared passion for exceptional cigars. We’ve always admired the quality and craftsmanship of Hostos blends and expertise in tobacco and cigar making. We are excited for the cigar community to be able to enjoy Ceniza Fina, as much as we do!”

The initial production run was 15,000 cigars—divided evenly between the three sizes—and the cigars are made by the TABACALERA LA iSLA factory located in Santiago de los Caballeros, the Dominican Republic.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Ceniza Fina Corojo Corona Gorda
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Corojo)
  • Binder: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Criollo 98, HVA, Piloto Cubano) & Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • MSRP: $9.50 (Box of 20, $190)
  • Release Date: January 2024
  • Number of Cigars Released: 250 Boxes of 20 (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Visually, each of the three Ceniza Fina Corojo Corona is a bit different: one is covered in a darker reddish brown wrapper with plenty of oil present, one has a lighter brown wrapper with almost no red tint at all and some slight oil, and the last one is a more dullish medium brown color with a definite lack of oil. Regardless of the cigar, all three feature almost no tooth at all and are covered in numerous large veins running up and down their lengths. In addition, each has a soft spot in the same general location, right under the secondary band. Aromas from the wrappers include sweet earthiness, creamy nuttiness, licorice sweetness, barnyard and a light vegetal note. Notes from the feet are more distinct, with creamy cedar leading, freshly brewed black coffee, earth, hay, dark chocolate and peanut shells. Finally, after straight cuts, the cold draws bring flavors of saltine crackers, almonds, vanilla bean sweetness, gritty earth, dark chocolate, hay, and—on the final cigar—a cinnamon note.

A combination of a floral note and some spice greets me as I take the first few puffs of the Ceniza Fina Corojo Coronas, but both notes dissipate quickly, replaced by main flavors of almonds and cedar. Secondary notes include toasted bread, cocoa nibs, anise, leather, earth and dry straw, while the retrohale features equal amounts of black pepper and milk chocolate sweetness. One of the cigars—the first one I smoked for this review—is quite different, with a massive amount of cotton candy sweetness that permeates the rest of the profile. Flavor is medium-plus for two of the cigars—but full for the first one—while body and strength both end the first third at a point just under the medium mark. There are no issues with construction through the first third, as the burns, smoke production and draws are all working in harmony together so far.

Cedar combined with a floral note takes over the top spots in the profiles of the cigars during the second third, followed by hay, gritty earth, dark chocolate, sourdough bread and coffee beans. There is little change to the retrohale of all three cigars: the first continues to be dominated by cotton candy sweetness, while the last two feature an enjoyable milk chocolate sweetness that is stronger than it was in the first third. Flavor for the first cigar remains at full— the other two bump up to medium-full—and while the body remains just under the medium mark for all three cigars, the strength increases slightly to land at a solid medium. Unfortunately, all three cigars run into minor burn issues after the halfway point—one cigar needs a single correction, while the remaining cigars need two corrections each to stay on track—but the draws and smoke production continue along their excellent paths.

The combination of floral flavors and cedar remains at the top of the profile for all three Ceniza Fina Corojo during the final third, although compared to the second third, there is more of the former than the latter. In addition, flavors of creamy almonds, toasted bread, tree bark, coffee beans, cinnamon and light citrus all show up at various points. All three cigars feature the same black pepper and flavors on the retrohale—cotton candy on the first cigar and milk chocolate on the final two cigars—but the richness of the sweetness has decreased slightly in all three. The flavor in all three cigars remains the same—full on the first cigar, medium-full on the other two—while the body ends the cigar at a solid medium, and the strength increases to a point just over the medium mark. Finally, while the smoke production and draws continue to give me no issues on all three cigars, two of the three have enough burn issues that I am forced to correct them with my lighter to avoid larger problems.

Final Notes

  • Pospiech, Inc.—the company best known for being the distribution company for Powstanie, which is owned by the same family—is handling the distribution of the Ceniza Fina cigars.
  • I have no idea why one cigar was so much sweeter than the other two—or why the sweetness was so different—but having tasted that, I do wish there had been more of that note in the profiles of the final two cigars.
  • Since so much of the sweetness in this blend is present only through the nose, you are going to miss out on the vast majority of the enjoyment from this cigar if you are not retrohaling.
  • For some reason, each of the cigars I smoked for this review needed a burn correction in about the same spot: between the main band and the secondary band.
  • Having said the above, the draws were excellent and there was plenty of thick, gray smoke from all three cigars.

  • The measurements of all three of these cigars were fairly consistent.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged one hour and 58 minutes for all three cigars.
88 Overall Score

This is a tale of two different profiles: all three cigars feature very similar flavors as part of their main profile—consisting of almonds, cedar and a floral note—but the first cigar was inundated with a massive cotton candy sweetness on the retrohale that the other two cigars completely lacked. While the first cigar was one of the best I have smoked so far this year, the other two were no slouches, and the collective total is a very solid debut release for the brand.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.