SP1014 Black

SP1014 Black 5 x 50

Today, we review the SP1014 Black in the 5 x 50 Robusto size. SP1014 is the creation of Sanj Patel. Patel owns Sanj’s Smoke Shop, which is located in Bloomfield, New Jersey. One thing that is quite common in the cigar industry is seeing retailers transition to cigar brand owners. Many retailers will carry house brands that they sell in their own stores. Other retailers will go a step further and become full-fledged cigar companies and distribute their product nationwide. Patel falls into the latter category. He launched in 2022 with the SP1014 Love n’ Passion. Last year, he would follow it up with the second SP1014 brand, the SP1014 Black.

When Patel released the SP1014 Love n’ Passion, he turned to Francisco “Chico” Rivas to produce the blend. Rivas is considered by many to be a rising star in the world of cigar blending. With SP1014 Black, this time Patel would turn to one of the all-time greats, Eladio Diaz.  Diaz is best known for his tenure at Davidoff. In late 2021, he would open his own factory, Tabacalera Diaz Cabrera.  This is the factory that produces the SP014 Black- which is a very different cigar than Love n’ Passion.

Let’s break down the SP1014 Black 5 x 50 without further ado and see what this cigar brings to the table.

SP1014 Black 5 x 50 – Cigar Review


Blend and Origin

SP1014 Black could be considered a Dominican-forward blend but not a Dominican puro. It uses a Dominican wrapper and filler containing five Dominican tobaccos. The non-Dominican component is the binder, which is San Andres Mexican. This binder leaf is aged in whiskey barrels.

Wrapper: Dominican
Binder: San Andres Mexican (Aged in Whiskey Barrels)
Fillers: Dominican (Proprietary Five Blend)
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera Diaz Cabrera

Vitolas Offered

The SP1014 Black is available in three sizes, each presented in 25-count cardboard boxes or five-pack cardboard boxes in the following sizes.

5 x 50 : 5 x 50
5 x 54 : 5 x 54
6 x 54 : 6 x 54
7 x 54 : 6 x 54

Appearance (*)

The Dominican wrapper of the Black 5 x 50 was a dark shade of brown with a strong Colorado red tint to it. There was significant mottling on the surface. The surface also had a slight amount of oil on it. There were some visible veins on the wrapper, while any visible wrapper seams were minimal. The cigar had a covered footer and was finished with a small pigtail affixed to the cap.


Pre-Light Draw (*)

Instead of pulling the pigtail off the Black 5 x 50 cap, a straight cut was used to remove the cap and the tail simultaneously. Once the cap was removed, I moved to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of cedar, wood, and natural tobacco. Usually, cedar and wood don’t cut it for me on a pre-light draw, but there was enough sweetness from the natural tobacco to offset this. As a result, there was a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. From this point, it was time to toast up the foot of the Black 5 x 50 and move on to the smoking phase.

Tasting Notes

The Black 5 x 50 opened up with more wood, cedar, and natural tobacco notes. This was quickly joined by notes of earth, chocolate, and a mix of black and jalapeño pepper. During the first third, the cedar and chocolate moved into the forefront, with the earth, chocolate, and pepper settling into the background. On the retro-hale, the black/jalapeño pepper was much more prominent.

At the start of the second third of the Black 5 x 50, the wood and earth notes joined the cedar notes.  As the cigar approached the halfway point, the cedar notes receded. Meanwhile, the chocolate notes receded while the pepper notes slowly increased. An underlying harshness and bitterness emerged as the Black 5 x 50 moved into the second half. When the cigar came out of the second third, the wood and earth notes were primary, while the pepper, cedar, and natural tobacco were secondary. The chocolate notes pretty much dissipated.

The final third didn’t change much from how the second third ended. The bad news was that the bitterness and harshness increased and were very prominent in the flavor profile. As the cigar experience of the Black 1014 came to a close, the cigar finished with a soft and cool nub.


The burn of the Black 5 x 50 on each of the three cigars used in this assessment became quite problemsome. It wasn’t perfect in the other two-thirds, but it was quite high maintenance in the second-third. This resulted in multiple touch-ups to keep the burn on a straight path and keep the burn line somewhat straight. On the cigar experience as a whole, there were simply too many touch-ups required.

Burn of the SP1014 Black 5 x 50

The resulting ash was silver gray, skewed toward the looser side. The burn rate and burn temperature maintained ideal levels.


The draw of the Black 5 x 50 was also somewhat inconsistent. On one sample, it had a touch of resistance, making it ideal in my book. A second sample had the draw more open (but not loose). The third sample was similar to the first, but there was one point where it got tight and required a couple of re-lights. I’m inclined to consider this an outlier here, but I still like a little more consistency on the draw.

Strength and Body

I assessed the Black 5 x 50 as a medium-strong, medium-bodied cigar. Out of the gate, the flavor was quite aggressive and closer to medium to full. The flavors settled into medium territory as the cigar emerged from those early stages. There wasn’t a significant change in strength and body for the remainder of the smoking experience. I gave a slight edge to the body in terms of strength versus body.


As much as I like it, I realize selling all cigars in boxes doesn’t make sense. At the same time, my disdain for the craft paper bundle has long been documented. That being said, I like the five-pack model that Sanj Patel has employed for his brand. What doesn’t show well in the photo is that the black-and-white grid on the boxes is textured. This gives this box a nice look and feel as opposed to the cheap and cheesy look of craft paper bundles.

5-Count packaging of the SP1014 Black 5 x 50

The logo’s black-and-white grid and yellow background have long been compared to Cohiba. My only issue is that this background looks more like Cuban Rounds, a value brand, than Cohiba. Regardless, while I understand Patel uses this logo in his retail store, I still would have done something to make it stand out more.


Final Thoughts

After an impressive start in the opening stages of the SP1014 Black Robusto’s smoking experience, things unfortunately came crashing down. Ultimately, the bitterness and harshness that emerged in the second third and dominated in the final became too much. It also was a disappointing blend for Eladio Diaz, who I know could do much better. While the $9.00 price point is quite attractive, this is a cigar I don’t see myself coming back to in the future. I’ll stick to the Love n’ Passion here.


Key Flavors: Wood, Cedar, Earth, Natural Tobacco, Chocolate, Pepper
Burn: Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Fair


Value: Not Recommended
Score: 85


News: n/a
Price: $9.00
Source: Purchased
Brand Reference: SP1014

Photo Credits: Cigar Coop

(*) Indicates this is not factored into the score or value rating