Turns out that the slight taste and odor I was noticing came from the distilled water which I purchased from a store. I tried some plain and it tasted and smelled the same as the CS that I made. The best I can describe it is that the water tastes a little flat compared to my filtered tap water. I had never tasted distilled water before. Who knew.
I offered my pets a choice of water w/CS and w/out and they chose the CS water finishing it quickly and now refuse to drink plain water. I also used it on a couple of houseplants who were failing slightly and they seem to have perked up considerably. So despite anyone else's opinion, I think my CS is an exceptional success.