My guess is the flavor you're getting is due to the heavy spices. 3 tbsp of spices for a 5 gallon batch is a ton. I've seen many pumpkin recipes that only call for anywhere from 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp, but I suppose that varies by preference.
On a side note, you may not want to make a starter from dry yeasts, as they are intended to be pitched directly into the wort, either dry or rehydrated. I've heard that it's actually bad to make a starter with them, but can't recall exactly why.
Who knows though, maybe the funkiness will fade once it's carbed up and aged a bit. Good luck!