Contacted NB and they will replace. It never crossed my mind, until you mentioned odor, that I did notice an odor when I opened the yeast packet-it was a strong odor, one I wasn’t familiar with, and not really pleasant. Sort of passed it off as a yeast strain I wasn’t familiar with, but you may be on to something there. Also saw small dark brown bits at the end of the packet pour-again, something I haven’t seen before so unsure whether that’s a sign of a problem yeast.
Starter itself doesn’t have any significant unpleasant odor.