I've looked at the photo and blown it up to look closer. Based on the other areas that have creasing...all are lighter. I would start by wiping down with wet cloth and then brush...a lot of brushing. I'm curious to see how much that helps. In most cases the creases will get darker again and match the rest of the hide. If necessary...use a deer bone on creases. I do see one area that has a dark splotch...you mentioned in your post the color was flaking off...which is possible. I would not be afraid to use a little shell cordovan polish to see if it helps. There is always the option to send back to Alden and no doubt they can fix this issue...the risk you take is it might darken the hide, which in this case would be a shame because thats a very nice color of #8 you have.
Hope this helps. I would as a minimum brush and see if it helps.