Bill, unless it's smoked provolone (which I don't think it is), the descriptor you're looking for most likely isn't smokey. I wouldn't use sour either. The descriptor that would probably offend the fewest provolone lovers would be butyric acid-y or possibly the vaguer 'musky.' If one were a little more candid, they might reference a body odor note. I worship at the altar of parmigiano reggiano and have absolutely no issue when people talk about it's butyric acid-y vomit note, so when I talk about body odor in reference to provolone, I hope I don't offend.
Bear in mind, the butyric acid is directly proportional to the age of the cheese, so younger provolones, such as the ones used in pizza blends, should be pretty mild. For those sensitive to the taste, though, even the mildest provolone can be pretty musky.
I think it helps if you grow up eating it, but I believe that the taste for provolone might be able to be acquired. My first experience with a 50/50 blend was, like yours, pretty unpleasant, but later I had one of Larry's (thezaman) pies and enjoyed that immensely, although I believe he uses a lower ratio of provolone. I get the feeling that the brand of provolone makes a pretty big difference as well.
On a separate note, I had a bit of cheese breakthrough this past weekend. I purchased a notoriously non bubbling/burn prone cheese, that, for the first pie, melted/browned horribly. On the second and third pies, though, I drizzled a few scattered drops of evoo, though, and it made a world of difference. The bad cheese now melted/bubbled beautifully.
I get the feeling that quite a few supermarket brick motzes are leaner than what they purport to be. Perhaps cream can fetch more money being sold in it's liquid form than in cheese. I do know, that, in all my years of working with supermarket motz, I've never had a plain pizza give me the blessed layer of orange oil that you see in most pizzerias on plain slices.
While the quantity of evoo I used didn't give me too much of a detectable olive flavor and worked beautifully, I think I might play around with an oo/evoo blend. Non virgin OO is closer in line with NY pizzeria tradition. I've never seen an oliera in any NY style pizzeria, but I have heard stories of oil being drizzled pre-bake, and, if that was the case, there's no way they were shelling out money for evoo.