I passed the Certified Cicerone test!
I received the news that I passed the Certified Cicerone® test during my recent beer and whiskey tasting trip to Scotland and Belgium. I was already having a great time, what a cool bonus!
The test is no joke. It takes four hours and consists of a written portion with short answer and essay questions, a tasting portion for which you must correctly identify styles and off flavors, and a demonstration of a service technique. I spent about a month preparing for the test, but it would not be possible to pass without years of being mixed up in the craft beer and homebrewing scenes. I feel really great about having passed and I'm looking forward to putting this certification to work!
By the way, we tack the "®" symbol on after the term Certified Cicerone because only a person who passes the exam administered by the Cicerone program can call themselves a "Certified Cicerone," the term is protected by trademark. The term "Sommelier," on the other hand, is a job title, typically for a person who advises customers on wine selection at fine restaurants (go see Somm, an excellent documentary that captures the intensity required to pass the "Master Sommelier" certification test!). Some sommeliers get formal education and test for certifications, but it is not required for a person to call themselves a sommelier.