Wow- what a process! With all that hard work, you want to play it safe. There is a cider section in these forums where you may get better advice. But, here is my opinion.
Cider is one of those things that the longer you wait, the better.
If you transfers to secondary, do it soon while there is active fermentation. After that, I'd wait months until you bottle it and months after that to drink.
Since you've made real cider, it's going to take time for it to clear. With a high ABV, it's going to take a while for it to mellow.
Also, don't expect your final final product to taste like an apple(unless you back sweeten). It will be awesome, just not an apple.
Good luck! Try the cider forums for pro advice!
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